The US Army is looking to equip Bangladesh with the Wasp AE SUAS
Special Correspondent, Dhaka, 10 October: Bangladesh is set to field the AeroVironment RQ-12B All Environment (AE) Wasp small unmanned aircraft system (SUAS), with a sources sought notification issued by the US Army on 8 October.
The request for information (RFI) is for an undisclosed number of systems for the intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) SUAS, comprising hand-launched air vehicles and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) payloads, as well as ground control stations (GCSs) and an initial spares package. AeroVironment characterises a Wasp AE system as consisting of two air vehicles and a GCS.
As noted by the US Army, the RFI does not constitute a formal requirement at this stage, with a decision as to the type of contract and competition set to follow from an analysis of the responses. The RFI did not disclose an estimated contract value or a potential delivery timeline.
According to Janes All the World’s Aircraft: Unmanned, the Wasp AE is a micro UAS that incorporates special design considerations to facilitate maritime and land operations. The air vehicle is 0.76 m long, has a wingspan of 1.02 m, and is powered by a single low-acoustic electric motor, while the payload comprises a Mantis i22 AE EO/IR sensor.
Guidance and control features include an autopilot that incorporates a digital datalink, autonomous functionality, and use of the GCS that is used with the Puma AE, Raven B, and Wasp III UAVs.