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AeroVironment has secured a US$8.3m firm-fixed-price U.S. Department of Defense Foreign Military Sales contract for Puma™ 3 AE tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), training and support to an allied nation, with delivery 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 UAS 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,” he added.

Expanding Awareness

The AeroVironment PUMA 3 AE is a fully man-portable UAS designed for land and maritime operations. The hand-launched PUMA 3 AE has a wingspan of 9.2 feet (2.8m), weighs 15 pounds (6.8kg) and operates for up to 2.5 hours at line-of-sight range of 20km with a standard antenna, and up to 60km with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA). 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 LRTA can be used with the PUMA 3 AE and all other Digital Data Link (DDL) equipped UAS, increasing line-of-sight command and control by up to 60km. 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.

Jack Richardson