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RQ-11 Raven UAV
Army Cpl. Jerry Rogers assembles an RQ-11 Raven unmanned aerial vehicle
Role Remote controlled UAV[1]
Manufacturer AeroVironment
First flight October 2001
Introduction May 2003
Status In use on combat field
Primary users United States Army
United States Air Force
Produced 2004-present
Number built 11,000+ airframes
Developed from FQM-151 Pointer UAV

The AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven is a remote-controlled miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (or MUAV) used by the U.S. military and its allies. The craft is launched by hand and powered by an electric motor. The plane can fly up to 6.2 miles (10 km) up to altitudes of 1,000 feet (305 m) above ground level (AGL), and 15,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), at flying speed of 28-60 mph (45–97 km/h)[2].


Design and development

The Raven RQ-11 UAVs are manufactured in two variants the RQ-11A and RQ-11B, which are designed and manufactured by AeroVironment. More than 3,000 RQ-11As were produced before 2006. US Special Operations Command ordered a batch of 179 Raven systems with three UAVs each more orders are expected to follow. More than 9,000 Raven airframes have been delivered to customers worldwide to date.

The Raven can be either remotely controlled from the ground station or fly completely autonomous missions using GPS waypoint navigation. The UAV can be ordered to immediately return to its launch point simply by pressing a single command button[1]. Standard mission payloads include charge-coupled device color video and an infrared night vision camera.

A single Raven costs about $35,000 and the total system costs $250,000.[1] The RQ-11A Raven UAV weighs about 1.9 kg (4.2 lb). Has a flight endurance of 80 minutes and an effective operational radius of about 10 km (6.2 miles)[2].

The RQ-11A Raven UAV is launched by hand, and thrown into the air like a model airplane, the Raven lands itself by auto-piloting to a near hover. The UAV can provide aerial observation, day or night, and line-of-sight ranges of 10 km or more.


  • RQ-11A Raven A (no longer in production)
  • RQ-11B Raven B


A soldier prepares to launch the Raven in Iraq
The Raven is launched.

The Raven is used by the United States Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Command. Additionally, US allies such as Australia, Italy, Denmark, Spain and Czech Republic have also begun acquiring it, with more countries expected over the next few years. As of early 2008, over 8,000 airframes have already been shipped, making it the most prolific UAV system in the world today.

The British forces in Iraq are using U.S. Raven equipment and personnel on loan.[3]

The Royal Danish Army acquired 12 Raven systems in September 2007 - three systems will be delivered to the Huntsmen Corps, while the remainder will be deployed with soldiers from the Artillery Training Center.[4]

The Netherlands MoD has acquired 72 operational RQ-11B systems with a total value of $23.74 million for use within Army reconnaissance units, its Marine Corps and its Special Forces (KCT).[5] At the turn of the year 2009 to 2010 the systems were deployed above the village Veen, as part of the Intesivation of Civil-Military Cooperation[6]

List of current operators:

 Czech Republic[7]
 Lebanon 12 systems [8][9][10][11]
 United Kingdom
 United States


  • Wing Span 4 ft 3 in (130 cm)
  • Length 3 ft 7 in (109 cm)
  • Weight 4.2 lb (1.9 kg)
  • Engine Aveox 27/26/7-AV electric motor
  • Cruising speed 60 mph (97 km/h)
  • Range 6.2 miles (10 km)
  • Endurance approx. 80 min

See also

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c "RQ-11 Raven". Retrieved 2009-01-09.  
  2. ^ a b "RQ-11 Raven". Retrieved 2009-10-09.  
  3. ^ "Raven keeps a lookout over Iraq - MOD". Ministry of Defence - UK. Retrieved 2009-01-09.  
  4. ^ "Press release" (in Danish). Retrieved 2009-01-09.  
  5. ^ "Netherlands Ministry of Defence: Raven Small UAS ready for use". Retrieved 2009-09-01.  
  6. ^ "Vliegende nachtkijkers ingezet tijdens jaarwisseling". Retrieved 2010-01-04.  
  7. ^ "Czech military to buy two MUAVs for Afghanistan". ČTK (Czech Press Agency, October 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-02.  
  8. ^ "Lebanon to receive US-built UAV's". defence.professionals (defpro). April 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-16.  
  9. ^ "Heavy U.S. Military Aid to Lebanon Arrives ahead of Elections". Naharnet Newsdesk. April 09, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-09.  
  10. ^ "Lebanon gets Raven mini UAV from U.S.". United Press International. March 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-24.  
  11. ^ US delivers military vehicles to Lebanese Army. Daily Star, March 24, 2009.


External links



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