The traditional fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle displays the attributes of greater air speed and increased endurance but can be limited by the need for a runway of some type to take-off.
AeroVironment addresses this in its JUMP20 UAS which it is displaying at AUSA (Booth B447). JUMP20 combines the features of the fixed wing platform with VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) capability provided by four upward propellors. The aircraft offers over 14 hours flight time with an operational range of 115 mile (185 km). The system can be prepared for flight in less than 60 minutes. It can accept various payloads within its 30 lb (13.6 kg) capacity.
Sensor options include imaging systems such as ARCAM 45D, long range EO/MWIR with onboard tracking, stabilization and video processing. Auto-piloting and a customizable ground station enhance it operational utility.
JUMP20 was selected in August 2022 by the US Army to replace its current Shadow UAS which is run-way dependent. The intent is to field one JUMP20 system to each brigade combat team. Each system will consist of six air vehicles, ground data terminals and control stations. The Army’s head of future vertical lift modernization has stated the need for a tactical UAS that is not tied to a runway, has lower acoustic signature, and is easier to transport with less equipment.
An AeroVironment representative shared “Our overall position in the market to meet Army Tactical UAS requirements is very strong. We have submitted a compelling proposal for FTUAS Increment 2”
by Stephen W. Miller