AeroVironment Inc. received an $18.5 million contract from the U.S. Army to supply its Raven unmanned aircraft to seven allied nations. The Simi Valley company is providing the small, hand-launched drone through the Foreign Military Sales program. The countries receiving the aircraft were not identified. Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment, said the company’s aircraft help military personnel operate safely and effectively in challenging conditions. “Allied forces around the globe are increasingly relying on AeroVironment as the go-to source for small UAS that deliver powerful insight, on demand for valuable, real-time situational awareness – whenever and wherever needed,” Flittie said in a prepared statement. The Raven is a hand-launched aircraft with a wingspan of 4-1/2 feet and weight of 4.2 pounds that has a range of up to 6.2 miles. The drone is manufactured and tested in Simi Valley. Shares closed down 8 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $21.64 on the Nasdaq.