The RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft system provides real-time direct situational awareness and target information for Air Force Special Operations Command Battlefield Airmen and Air Force security forces. The Raven falls into the class of Air Force small UAS known as man-portable UAS.

The Raven back-packable system which features two air vehicles or AVs, a ground control unit, remote video terminal, transit cases and support equipment. Two specially trained Airmen operate the Raven AV. The AV can be controlled manually or can autonomously navigate a preplanned route.

The Raven includes a color electro-optical camera and an infrared camera for night operations. The air vehicle is hand-launched, weighs less than 5 pounds and an endurance of up to 80 minutes.

The Raven UAS has proven itself in combat supporting U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other areas of conflict. The Raven is now used by all of the military services. The Air Force purchased the Raven UAS to replace the Desert Hawk UAS.

UAV RQ-11B Raven Technical Specifications

General Characteristics 
Primary Function:Reconnaissance and surveillance with low altitude operation
Contractor:Aerovironment, Inc.
Power Plant: Electric Motor, rechargeable lithium ion batteries
Wingspan:4.5 feet (1.37 meters)
Weight:4.2 lbs (1.9 kilograms)
Weight (ground control unit):17 lbs (7.7 kilograms)
Speed: 30-60 mph (26-52 knots)
Range: 8-12 km (4.9-7.45 miles)
Endurance:60-90 minutes
Altitude (operations): 100-500 feet air ground level ( to 152 meters)
System Cost: approximately $173,000 (2004 dollars)
Payload: High resolution, day/night camera and thermal imager
Date deployed: 2004
Inventory: Classified