AgEagle Projects Explosive Growth: From Agriculture to Defense

Recent Contracts with French Army and UAE Signal AgEagle’s Strategic Shift and Rapid Expansion Potential

by DRONELIFE Features Editor Jim Magil

AgEagle Aerial Systems, a company that started about 14 years ago as a manufacturer of drones and related products for the agricultural sector, is poised to see explosive growth based largely on sales of products it offers to the security and defense sectors, the company’s CEO said in an interview.

Bill Irby pointed to recent contracts the Wichita-based company had secured — a purchase order with a leading distributor in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) valued at approximately $2 million, and $3.4 million deal to provide drones and related equipment to the French Army – as indicators that AgEagle is on an upward financial trajectory.

“We just made the shift from a startup company mode into a growth company mode,” he said. “With these awards coming in, we’re soliciting new capital to try to get investments in the company so that we can fund all the things we need to fund to build these systems ahead of delivery.

Irby estimated that within the next year, AgEagle could grow to three times its current size.

Launched by a farmer who determined that there was a use for hobby aircraft in the agricultural world, the company has focused on producing high-quality flight hardware, sensors and software.

AgEagle went public in 2018 and in 2021 the company extended its reach in the field of advanced drone sensor development with the acquisition of MicaSense, Inc. from Parrot , Europe’s leading drone group, in a deal valued at $23 million.

In October 2022, the company’s eBee X series of fixed-wing UAVs, including the eBee X, eBee GEO and eBee TAC, became the first drones on the market to comply with FAA regulations for Operations Over People. Since then AgEagle has continued to flourish, reaching a market cap of approximately $6.3 million.

“We design and build specialty drones, but we are a situational awareness company. Our whole purpose is providing awareness to users and operators, whether it be for agriculture, for farmers trying to determine what to do with their crops, or whether it be for security professionals, inspectors of infrastructure, etc.,” Irby said.

Over recent months, the company has shifted its business strategy, going from being a general provider of drones and related products, to one that is mostly focused on growth in the defense and security space. Irby said following this shift AgEagle “started to gain some steam,” as evidenced by the recent order from the French Army and the UAE contract.

In April the company announced that had secured its largest single contract to date, with a purchase order placed by a reseller to the French Army. The order includes the delivery of 40 eBee VISION systems – featuring the light and inexpensive fixed-wing UAV, with a dual-camera package for day and night vision — as well as nine other eBees, including drones, sensors, datalinks and control stations. The equipment will be specially tailored for conducting public safety, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

AgEagle followed up on the announced French Army deal earlier this month with the announcement of the UAE transaction. In that agreement, the company secured a purchase order to deliver 20 eBee VISION full-stack systems with control systems, batteries, backpacks and limited spares, to a leading UAE distributor.

Irby said that AgEagle would continue to concentrate on securing contracts in the security and military markets, including pursuing sales to the U.S. military. In March 2022, the company’s eBee TAC became the first drone to be added to the DOD’s Blue UAS Cleared List as part of the Blue sUAS 2.0 project, approving UAV’s for use by U.S. armed services. Irby said the company recently initiated the process to get Blue UAS certification for its eBee VISION aircraft as well.

“We have U. S. military opportunities kind of in our target zone. I don’t want to specify what those are, but we recently flew an exercise with a U. S. Army unit,” he said. “Where we go with procurement, that’s up to the government, so I have no clear answers on that right now.”

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Jim Magill is a Houston-based writer with almost a quarter-century of experience covering technical and economic developments in the oil and gas industry. After retiring in December 2019 as a senior editor with S&P Global Platts, Jim began writing about emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robots and drones, and the ways in which they’re contributing to our society. In addition to DroneLife, Jim is a contributor to Forbes.com and his work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report, and Unmanned Systems, a publication of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.


Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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