AeroVironment, Inc. has announced it received an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) award by the US Army on 18 August 2022 for Increment 1 of the FUTURE TACTICAL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM (FTUAS) programme. The contract calls for the delivery of one JUMP 20 medium unmanned aircraft system (MUAS) to a selected Army Brigade Combat Team (BCT) as well asassociated services and support.
The FTUAS programme aims to replace the RQ-7B Shadow reconnaissance UAV presently in service with various US Army BCTs with a more modern system. Increment 1 of the programme entails testing and fielding of the JUMP 20 before a larger-scale procurement decision is made.
The AeroVironment JUMP 20 is a fixed-wing UAV which is capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) due to being fitted with four propellers for take-off and landing in a quadcopter-type configuration, as well as a tractor propeller at the front for level flight.
According to the manufacturer, the JUMP 20 has an endurance of 14+ hours, a standard operational range of 185 kilometres, and a useable payload capacity of up to 13.6 kg. AeroVironment have also stated that the system can be set up for operation in less than 60 minutes and features a common autopilot and ground control system architecture, allowing it to be configured to meet various operational or userrequirements.