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After having recently been acquired by the Royal Canadian Navy, AeroVironment's PUMA II AE small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), featuring the new MANTIS i45 sensor, was bought by a major country in the Middle East for U$44.5 million.

“This contract for the ground forces of a Middle East regional power, and our largest international order to date, reflects AeroVironment’s continually growing international customer base and our ongoing commitment to equipping more allied forces with the innovative UAS solutions needed to ensure successful missions in a wide range of operations,” said Kirk Flittie, Vice President and General Manager of AeroVironment’s UAS business segment. "PUMA AE UAS equipped with the MANTIS i45 sensor suite enables operators to see better and farther than ever before, providing more actionable intelligence so users can proceed with certainty. Capable of ground and water landings, the rugged, portable and fully waterproof PUMA AE gives operators unmatched operational flexibility in the small UAS class."

The onboard MANTIS i45 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) gimbal sensor suite is a powerful, versatile and high-value tool that delivers dramatically improved imaging capabilities to give military users world-class ISR capabilities comparable to platforms many times the size and cost of PUMA AE, according to the company. In operations, the MANTIS i45 reduces the likelihood of detection by increasing the distance between the PUMA AE and areas of interest while still providing the clarity and image quality of a close-range asset. Its high-resolution imagery also aids in target analysis, positive identification and enables operators to identify threats to friendly forces more effectively. By minimising PUMA’s exposure to detection by the enemy, the MANTIS i45 greatly improves its ability to complete reconnaissance missions safely and effectively.

“AeroVironment’s small UAS are transforming the way US and allied ground forces around the world plan, train, equip and operate – giving them the tools needed to proceed with certainty in the most challenging circumstances,” Flittie concluded.

PUMA AE’s enhanced precision navigation system with secondary GPS provides optimal positional accuracy and reliability. Moreover, AeroVironment’s common ground control system (GCS) allows the operator to control the aircraft manually or program it for GPS-based autonomous navigation. (Photo: AeroVironment)

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