Puma AE UAV ordered for US Air Force
AeroVironment has announced that it has received a firm fixed-price order from the US Air Force (USAF) for its Puma AE small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as part of an existing US Army contract. AeroVironment made the announcement 18 April 2012.
The Puma AE will join a number of AeroVironment UAVs in service with the USAF, including the RQ-11B Raven and Wasp small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS). AeroVironment said that the Puma will bring ‘a more comprehensive set of capabilities for force protection and force multiplication, anywhere and at any time’.
According to AeroVironment, the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) selected the Puma UAS in 2008 for its AECV programme after a full and open competition, the fourth US Department of Defense competition for programmes of record involving small UAS and the fourth such competition won by AeroVironment. In 2011 the US Army assumed management of the AECV programme.
Each Puma system consists of three air vehicles and two ground control systems. The air vehicle carries an integrated electro-optical and infrared gimbaled video camera, is designed for enhanced survivability in land and maritime environments, and can operate effectively in foul weather and over rugged terrain. Its quiet operation, stabilised imagery and precision landing capability make Puma systems easy to operate and recover. The Puma air vehicle weighs 13 pounds, is battery powered and has a flight endurance of two hours.
Delivery for the aircraft is scheduled to take place within two weeks. The order is valued at $2,431,440.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
Twenty-five navies, eight NATO entities and more than thirty companies and universities are currently involved in Robotic Experimentation Prototyping Augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems Exercise 2023 (REPMUS 23), held off the coast of Portugal until 29 September.
The Ukrainian pavilion at DSEI 2023, organised by state-owned Spetstechnoexport, exhibited several indigenous combat-tested systems, including UAVs, USVs and an evacuation vehicle.
Milrem Robotics has now supplied more than 100 of its Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) hybrid UGVs including approximately 15 for service in Ukraine. Lessons learned are continuing to inform the platform’s development, according to the company.
The design selected for the Rotary Wing Uncrewed Autonomous System is best suited for maritime operations.
Reamda is designing a new SWAT version of its Riddler tactical UGV, to be designated Casur which is Irish for hammer, and designing a smaller lightweight version of its controller.