Middle Eastern country awards AeroVironment contract for its Puma AE UAS

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A major country in the Middle East has awarded AeroVironment, Inc. a contract valued at $44.5 million (USD) for its Puma II AE small UAS featuring the new Mantis i45 sensor.

Puma AE UAS equipped with the Mantis i45 sensor suite gives operators the ability to “see better and farther than ever before,” which provides more actionable intelligence, so users can proceed with certainty.

Described as rugged, portable and fully waterproof, Puma AE gives operators “unmatched operational flexibility in the small UAS class,” according to AeroVironment.

“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,” says Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.

AeroVironment says that 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 much larger and more expensive than Puma AE.

In operations, the Mantis i45 increases the distance between the Puma AE and areas of interest, which reduces the chances of being detected, while still providing the clarity and image quality of a close-range asset. Its high-resolution imagery also helps with target analysis, positive identification, and allows operators to identify threats to friendly forces more effectively.

The Mantis i45 greatly improves Puma AE's ability to complete reconnaissance missions safely and effectively, thanks to its ability to minimize Puma’s exposure to detection by the enemy.

Puma AE’s “enhanced precision navigation system with secondary GPS” provides optimal positional accuracy and reliability. Furthermore, an operator can control the aircraft manually or program it for GPS-based autonomous navigation using AeroVironment’s common ground control system (GCS).

“AeroVironment’s small UAS are transforming the way U.S. 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 says.