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AeroVironment to Develop its Wildcat Autonomous VTOL UAS for DARPA’s ANCILLARY Program

AeroVironment (AV) was down selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for continued development of its X-Plane design for the agency’s AdvaNced airCraft Infrastructure-Less Launch And RecoverY (ANCILLARY) program. AV’s offering – Wildcat – is a Group 3 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) developed specifically to execute ship-based operations in challenging maritime environments.

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AV’s Group 3 Wildcat UAS is a long-endurance, large-payload vertical take-off and landing solution developed for a variety of maritime operations. (Artist’s Rendering: AeroVironment)

AV’s Group 3 Wildcat UAS is a long-endurance, large-payload vertical take-off and landing solution developed for a variety of maritime operations. (Artist’s Rendering: AeroVironment)

“We have prioritized controllability to ensure Wildcat meets the ‘anytime, anywhere’ goal of DARPA’s ANCILLARY program,” said AV’s Vice President of MacCready Works Chris Fisher. “Wildcat leans on autonomy to reduce operational burdens while enabling safe, infrastructure-less launch and recovery in challenging conditions from a range of Navy ships.”

Wildcat leverages AV’s SPOTR-Edge machine learning-enabled computer vision to enhance mission effectiveness. This capability builds on operational learnings AV has gained as a leader in the Group 1 to 3 UAS space with millions of operational flight hours on its Raven®, Puma™ AE, and JUMP® 20 uncrewed systems.

ANCILLARY calls for the development of a low-weight, large-payload, long-endurance VTOL UAS for missions executed by the U.S. Navy and Marines. AV’s Wildcat pushes beyond current Group 3 UAS offerings and provides expanded mission capabilities to address and overcome evolving threat landscapes.

Designed specifically for the ANCILLARY program, Wildcat meets DARPA’s objectives for a 450 nautical mile (nmi) mission radius and over 12 hours of endurance on station with 60 lbs of payload. Additionally, Wildcat exceeds program objectives for sea state recovery and cruise speed, with the ability to operate in high sea states and winds, and dash over 100 knots to quickly cover long distances over sea or land.

Wildcat’s large modular payload capacity will enhance mission responsiveness and flexibility, and its tail-sitter design requires fractional infrastructure and footprint compared to other offerings. It is designed to operate as part of a larger fleet of Wildcat UAS that leverage collision-avoidance and autonomy to deconflict airspace and collaborate to perform search missions in degraded or denied airspace.

“Our solutions are specifically crafted for the operator and Wildcat is no exception. AV has a strong history of seamlessly integrating our systems into a soldier’s daily operations and we look forward to further developing this design in partnership with DARPA and the Office of Naval Research for the ANCILLARY program,” continued Fisher.


AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) is a global leader in intelligent multi-domain robotic systems, uncrewed aircraft and ground systems, sensors, software analytics and connectivity. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, AeroVironment delivers actionable intelligence so our customers can proceed with certainty. For more information, visit


Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our ability to perform under existing contracts and obtain additional contracts; changes in the regulatory environment; the activities of competitors; failure of the markets in which we operate to grow; failure to expand into new markets; failure to develop new products or integrate new technology with current products; and general economic and business conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



Ashley Riser

AeroVironment, Inc.

+1 (805) 750-6176

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