AeroVironment has won a $12 million (€10.8 million) contract from a major Middle Eastern ally to the United States for logistics support, spares and repair services to an existing fleet of PUMA AE and RAVEN B tactical UAS for a period of two years, the company announced on 14 November.
“Our United States and global customers require reliable, rugged and combat-proven tactical unmanned aircraft systems that defence and security personnel can deploy immediately from their rucksacks without the need for runways or other launch logistics,” commented Rick Pedigo, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for AeroVironment. “This order builds on our fast-growing international customer base as more allied forces rely on our innovative systems to proceed with certainty on the frontlines.”
AeroVironment’s RAVEN system is designed for rapid deployment and high mobility for applications requiring low-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. With a wingspan of 4.5ft and weighing 4.2lbs, the hand-launched RAVEN provides aerial observation, day or night, at line-of-sight ranges of at least 10 kilometres. Its stabilised gimbaled payload delivers real-time colour or infrared imagery to ground control and remote viewing stations.
The PUMA AE is a fully man-portable UAS designed for land and maritime operations. It has a wingspan of 9.2ft, weighs 15lbs and operates for up to 2.5 hours at a line-of sight range of 20km with a standard antenna, and up to 60km with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna. 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 small UAS class.