AeroVironment Awarded $44.5M Puma AE UAS contract
AeroVironment, Inc. of Monrovia, CA announced on March 6 that a major country in the Middle East has awarded the company a contract valued at $44.5 million (USD) for Puma II AE small UAS featuring the new Mantis i45 sensor.
“This contract for the ground forces of a Middle East regional power, and our largest international order to date, reflects AeroVironment’s continually growing international customer base and our ongoing commitment to equipping more allied forces with the innovative UAS solutions needed to ensure successful missions in a wide range of operations,” said Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.
Puma AE UAS equipped with the Mantis i45 sensor suite enables operators to see better and farther than ever before, the company said, providing more actionable intelligence so users can proceed with certainty. Capable of ground and water landings, the rugged, portable and fully waterproof Puma AE gives operators operational flexibility in the small UAS class.
The onboard Mantis i45 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) gimbal sensor suite is a delivers improved imaging capabilities to give military users world-class ISR capabilities comparable to platforms many times the size and cost of Puma AE, according to the company. In operations, the Mantis i45 reduces the likelihood of detection by increasing the distance between the Puma AE and areas of interest while still providing the clarity and image quality of a close-range asset. Its high-resolution imagery also aids in target analysis, positive identification and enables operators to identify threats to friendly forces more effectively. By minimizing Puma’s exposure to detection by the enemy, the company said, the Mantis i45 greatly improves its ability to complete reconnaissance missions safely and effectively.
“AeroVironment’s small UAS are transforming the way U.S. and allied ground forces around the world plan, train, equip and operate – giving them the tools needed to proceed with certainty in the most challenging circumstances,” said Flittie.