US officials have disclosed that USA is going to provide 85 small hand-launched AeroVironment’s RQ-11 Raven UAVs to Pakistan Army. US officials have said that this is going to be a key step towards meeting Pakistan’s repeated requests for US drone technology.

Sale of the RQ-11 Raven UAVs is separate from the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s offer to  sell 12 Shadow UAVs in January 2010. Pakistani officials have said that talks are being held to overcome the  objections of high cost and slow timeline for delivery. US officials claimed that these talks are almost complete.

AeroVironment’s RQ-11 Raven UAVs weights around 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg) costs $25,000 to $ 35,000 each and total system costs around $250,000. RQ-11 Raven UAVs has and endurance of 80 minutes and it is powered by a battery.

It can carry CCD colour video and an infrared camera to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) over danger zones and provide real time video feed back to the operator which can manage its flight via a laptop.

Top speed of the Raven UAV is 90 kilometers per hour and its cruising speed is 45 kilometers per hour. RQ-11 Raven UAVs can fly a preprogrammed path by using GPS for navigation and can send its video feed back to the operator at a distance of 10 to 15 kilometers.

One Raven system includes three RQ-11 Raven UAVs and one ground control station. This Uave is launched by starting its motor and throwing the UAV into the air. RQ-11 Raven UAVs is able to withstand over 200 landings before it breaks something.

By 2005, over 1300 Raven UAVs were produced and had orders for another 2000. US Army extended their Small UAV program and expended their requirement of Raven UAVs by another 3,000.

Pakistan has several times requested the United States to provide MQ-1 Armed Predator UAVs which will allow Pakistan Army to strike Taliban hideouts at any time but USA has so far declined all such requests. Last  year, when Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Athar Abbas was asked about the overall weapons being provided to Pakistan for counterinsurgency and other military supplies by the United States, he remarked, “Too little, too late”.

US Offer To Provide Six Shadow-200 UAV System to Pak Army

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