AeroVironment has been awarded $2.6 million from a US ally to enhance their Puma fleet with Puma LE capabilities, plus existing fleet support.
The order also includes spares to support the customer’s existing fleet of AeroVironment tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The contract award period of performance is one year.
The contract was awarded on February 20, 2020, the company announced on May 12.
“Puma LE provides customers with Group 2 UAS endurance capabilities, nearly doubling the time on station of Puma 3, with cost savings and the footprint of a Group 1 unmanned aircraft,” said Rick Pedigo, vice president of sales and business development for AeroVironment.
The Puma LE weighs only 22.5 pounds (10.4 kilograms), is launchable by hand or bungee and provides a dedicated secondary payload bay in addition to its Mantis i45 gimbaled EO/IR sensor. On-board batteries provide 5.5 hours of flight endurance with an operational range of 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) when used with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA).
Puma LE’s economical dual-case mission pack contains everything needed to perform two complete 5.5-hour missions with a single aircraft and Ground Control System (GCS). Puma LE utilizes plug and play, interoperable line-replaceable unit (LRU) components that can be shared with other Puma AE aircraft.