Saturday, July 20, 2024

US Army orders more Puma surveillance drones

The U.S. Army has awarded AeroVironment a contract for additional RQ-20 Puma unmanned aircraft systems, as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announcement on December 29 revealed.

This award, a modification to an existing contract, amounts to nearly $32 million, encompassing the procurement of additional Puma units and the provision of associated training support services. The designated work for this contract will be carried out at AeroVironment’s Mechanicsburg facility in Pennsylvania, with an estimated completion date of September 30, 2024.

The Puma stands as a small Unmanned Aircraft System designed to directly support the reconnaissance requirements of maneuver elements at the battalion and below levels. This system, easily carried by personnel, is operated by a team of two trained operators, providing automatic tracking of moving targets and the flexibility for mobile operations, functioning in a “follow-me” mode relative to the operator. Equipped with a fully gimbaled sensor, it concurrently delivers Electro-Optical (EO), Infrared (IR), and illuminator capabilities.


One of Puma’s distinct advantages lies in its adaptability to diverse environmental conditions, including rain and saltwater scenarios, expanding its utility across a wide range of operational landscapes.

Primarily dedicated to furnishing intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting data, the current operational range of the UAS spans approximately 12 miles at an altitude of 500 feet, maintaining its operations for an approximate duration of three hours.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.



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