California-based AeroVironment (AVAV -1.92%) continues its relentless march -- or the airborne equivalent of a march -- to raking in every last cent of the $65.5 million the Pentagon has awarded it to produce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the U.S. Army.
On Wednesday, the drone maker announced the Army has released $13.8 million in incremental funding to pay for additional RQ-11B Raven small UAVs, Mantis miniature gimbaled payloads (i.e. upgraded video cameras), and spare parts. That's roughly 5% of the amount of revenues AeroVironment collected in all of last year.
The Raven, probably AV's most famous product, is a 4.5-pound UAV that can be carried in a soldier's backpack, and launched by tossing it in the air. It then sends day and nighttime real-time video imagery back to a ground controller wirelessly for "over the hill" and "around the corner" data to permit small tactical units to conduct local reconnaissance.