AeroVironment will deliver the third global observer aircraft under the US Government’s global observer joint capability technology demonstration (JCTD) programme.

AeroVironment chief executive officer Tim Conver said that the observer craft will provide affordable intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications solutions using a high altitude unmanned aircraft system with flight duration of up to one week.

The global observer has a payload capacity of about 400lb.

A system of two or more aircraft flying sequentially will offer seamless ISR and communication relay over any area that is more cost effective than the current alternatives.

This government contract will derive funding from the $120m JCTD programme that has already exercised six contract options excluding this order since its beginning.