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Jacksonville Drone Company Gets $800,000 Contract For Its WASP system

A Jacksonville drone company has secured a new contract worth more than $800,000 from a U.S. Department of Defense customer.

Drone Aviation Corp., located on the Southside, makes unmanned systems for the military, law enforcement, commercial and industrial applications.

The latest contract is for the company’s Winch Aerostat Small Platform (WASP) drone.

Aerostats are large fabric envelopes filled with helium. The WASP is capable of carrying a variety of payloads in support of military operations.

The company says its advantage is integrating advanced communications along with daylight and thermal optical sensors into a smaller aerostat that was previously only available in larger multi-million dollar systems.

“With its multi-mission capabilities operating at the edge, the WASP delivers persistence in a mobile, small footprint tactical solution, one that enables our military to see and do more, without the high costs and significant support requirements of larger existing aerostat solutions,” said Bruce Hardy, Vice President of Sales of Drone Aviation in an email to WJCT News.

The WASP can be operated by as few as two soldiers and provide day/night video and wireless communication range extension.

Over the past four years, U.S. Army-owned WASP systems have successfully completed thousands of hours of soldier training operations, according to Drone Aviation Corp.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.