AeroVironment Inc. (Monrovia, Calif., USA) on Aug. 16 announced that it has received a firm-fixed-price contract delivery order valued at $65.5 million for new digital Puma All Environment (AE) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and initial spares packages. The items were procured through the existing United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) All Environment Capable Variant (AECV) indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract. Deliveries are scheduled to be completed over the next several months.
“Puma systems have demonstrated their effectiveness and are receiving high marks from customers for their image quality and overall capabilities,” said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “Like Raven and Wasp, Puma is helping to expand the role of small unmanned aircraft systems, and in the process is protecting our forces and helping them do their jobs more effectively.”
USSOCOM selected the Puma UAS in 2008 for its AECV program after a full and open competition, the fourth U.S. Department of Defense competition for programs of record involving small UAS and the fourth such competition won by AeroVironment. Each Puma system consists of three air vehicles and two ground control systems. The air vehicle carries an integrated electro-optical and an infrared gimbaled video payload, is designed for enhanced durability in land and maritime environments and can operate effectively in foul weather and over rugged terrain. Its quiet operation, stabilized imagery and precision landing capability make Puma systems easy to operate and recover. The Puma air vehicle weighs 13 lb/5.9 kg, is battery powered and has a flight endurance of two hours.