AVAV enters into agreement w/CybAero - Tier II VTOL
According to SUASnews, "the now agreed strategic investment deepened a partnership that began last spring between the companies. AeroVironment, whose name CybAero until now for reasons of confidentiality could not publish, bought in the spring two APID 60 systems intended for demonstrations."
This is around the time that the State Dept. was soliciting bids for up to $1bn (yes, that's billion) in worldwide UAS Support Services (FBO Solicitation Number SAQMMA11R0358). The RFQ specified a combination of Tier I and Tier II services. AVAV is the overwhelming leader in Tier I, and it's possible (probable?) that the CybAero VTOL would be at least part of the Tier II component.
According to a 9/11/12 DefenseNews article, "the contract is expected to be awarded in early 2013". An AVAV spokesman is quoted as saying “based on what I’ve read about this competition, it seems that our small [unmanned aerial system] and our proven mission services capabilities would be a good fit.”
Also interesting that AVAV has recently posted and subsequently removed (filled?) a job posting for an "Air Vehicle Operator, IV" (job # 12-130) who is certified on Tier/Group II.
On 12/12/12, CybAero issued a press release describing a successful program to raise money by selling warrants for CybAero stock. The press release can be found on the Swedish version of their website, but is not yet on the English version.
An excerpt, per Google Translate:
"Through this successful exercise of the warrants, the recently signed strategic cooperation agreement with AeroVironment (Nasdaq: AVAV), including the two convertible bond issues, and additionally upcoming delivery of three more helicopters to AV has CybAero covered funding needs well into 2014, says CEO CybAero Leif Erlandsson. It gives us completely different conditions than before to invest even more heavily in increased sales. We will also implement a number of strategic recruitment and we will work with our production partners to increase the serial production of the helicopter to handle greater sales and delivery volumes, continues Leif Erlandsson."
1. CybAero is sounding quite upbeat about future sales prospects.
2. Per the earlier PR, AVAV bought 2 VTOLs last spring for demo purposes; now it appears that AVAV has purchased at least 3 more.