Honeywell has its first production contract for the ducted-fan RQ-16A Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) - a U.S. Navy order for 90 systems for delivery next year to meet an urgent requirement to equip explosive ordnance disposal forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each system is two backpackable UAVs, a laptop ground station and a data terminal. The "hover and stare" RQ-16A will give EOD forces their own UAV to use in defeating IEDs.
As the video shows, the MAV has its origins in a DARPA program. Now Honeywell has decided to brand this first production ducted-fan UAV the T-Hawk, short for Tarantula Hawk - named after a large wasp that is the state insect of New Mexico, where the MAVs are built. The name was also picked because of perceived similarities between the wasp and its new namesake: the long legs, black body and red wings (engine parts on the T-Hawk).
The UAV (photo: Honeywell) and the wasp (photo: Gene Hanson)