RQ-11 Raven

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Product Type:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Using Service (US):

Army, USMC, and SOCOM

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractors:


The RQ-11 Raven

About the RQ-11 Raven:

The AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven is a small man-portable lightweight Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) designed to provide tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) in support of forward-deployed troops.

There are two systems with the RQ-11 designation, the RQ-11B Raven and the RQ-11A Wasp. Another small UAS used by the U.S. military is the AeroVironment RQ-20A Puma. On this page, we only present the RQ-11B Raven.

The Raven is launched by hand into the air like a model airplane and lands itself using its built-in auto-pilot. The UAV provides real-time direct situational awareness and target information for U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (SOCOM) personnel and Air Force security forces, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Marine Corps. The Air Force purchased the Raven to replace the Desert Hawk and Pointer UAS.

The Raven is capable of handling a wide variety of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) tasks. The RQ-11B has a wingspan of 4.5 feet and weighs 4.2 pounds. The RQ-11 provides aerial observation, day or night, at line of sight ranges up to 10 kilometers. The aircraft has an endurance rate of 90 minutes and can deliver color or infrared imagery in real time to the ground control station (GCS) and remote video terminal.

The Raven system consists of three RQ-11B Raven air vehicles, two Ground Control Stations (GCS), one Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA) kit and one Field Repair Kit (FRK). The RSTA kit is used for mission planning, autonomous flight operations and mission product archiving. The FRK contains consumable items used during operations and maintenance.

The Raven's GCS (also used by the Puma and Wasp UAVs) is compact and lightweight and displays real-time video and imagery captured by the RQ-11's cameras. The GCS can easily be assembled/disassembled in two minutes. The processing, retrieving and storing of real-time data is carried out at the GCS. The GCS can also playback videos for target evaluation and facilitate retransmission of videos and meta data. The GCS can be operated as a remote video terminal when implanted at remote locations and allows command centers to view and analyze the data.

New Ravens are equipped with the Mantis i23 EO/IR Gimbaled Mini-Payload with high-resolution day/night camera and thermal imager. Older Ravens can be retrofitted with the i23. The Army and USMC are currently retrofitting their RQ-11s.

Abroad, the RQ-11 is used by the military forces of Australia, Denmark, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Spain. According to AeroVironment, over 11,000 Raven UAVs have been delivered to customers worldwide.




The RQ-11 Raven is an "over the hill" rucksack-portable, day/night, limited adverse weather, remotely-operated, multi-sensor system in support of combat battalions and below as well as selected combat support units.

FY 2020 & FY 2021 - RQ-11 / RQ-20 DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and AeroVironment.

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