AeroVironment to provide Puma 3 AE UAS for US ally
Simi Valley, CA-based AeroVironment, Inc. announced on October 13 it secured a $8,371,332 firm-fixed-price U.S. Department of Defense FMS contract award on September 25, 2020 for Puma 3 AE tactical UAS, training and support to an allied nation. Delivery is anticipated by March 2021.
“The United States Department of Defense and the defense forces of 50 allied nations around the world rely on AeroVironment’s family of tactical unmanned aircraft systems to protect and empower frontline troops in the harshest operating environments,” said Rick Pedigo, vice president of sales and business development at AeroVironment. “With an unmatched track record for reliability and effectiveness in combat, training and humanitarian operations, and a roadmap of continuous enhancement and innovation into the future, customers can rely on AeroVironment to proceed with certainty into any operational scenario.”
The AeroVironment Puma 3 AE is a fully man-portable unmanned aircraft system designed for land and maritime operations. The hand-launched Puma 3 AE has a wingspan of 9.2 feet (2.8 meters), weighs 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) and operates for up to 2.5 hours at line-of-sight range of 20 kilometers with a standard antenna, and up to 60 kilometers with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna. Capable of landing in water or on land, the all-environment Puma, with its Mantis i45 sensor suite, empowers the operator with extended flight time and a level of imaging capability never before available in the tactical UAS class.
To expand operational range, AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA) can be used with Puma 3 AE, and all other Digital Data Link (DDL) equipped UAS, increasing line-of-sight command and control up to 60 kilometers. The LRTA features a directional antenna mounted on a tracking positioner that allows for automatic or manual tracking of an aircraft at an extended stand-off range. In addition, an omnidirectional antenna provides redundancy and 360-degree coverage with reduced range capabilities. The LRTA is now offered in two versions – M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 – to support all DDL frequency bands and fit diverse mission needs.