Royal Canadian Navy acquires AeroVironment's Puma II AE UAS
AeroVironment, Inc. and MDA, a Maxar Technologies company, have announced that the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has acquired the AeroVironment Puma II AE, which is a maritime mini UAS. MDA partnered with AeroVironment to satisfy the requirement of the Department of National Defence of Canada for the Maritime Miniature Unmanned Aircraft System (MMUAS).
The UAS will be fielded aboard RCN Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV), and will include the Mantis i45 sensor and a 360-degree antenna system, which will enhance the Puma II AE's ability to support maritime operations.
“The addition of our Mantis i45 sensor and 360-degree antenna system expands the capability of Puma II AE to support maritime operations. This solution also builds on AeroVironment’s extensive operational experience with small UAS to provide the Royal Canadian Navy with a low-cost, hand-launched capability that is optimized for contested environments,” says Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.
“AeroVironment’s small UAS have helped transform the way U.S. and allied forces plan, train, equip and operate. Fielding Puma II AE to the Canadian Navy allows interoperability with NATO forces and supports coalition mission integration.”
RCN’s adoption of the Puma II AE “marks another step in the growing need and fielding of MMUAS for the international surface combatant and coastal craft market,” according to AeroVironment. With the Family of Systems (FOS) concept, customers can add other UAS from AeroVironment that will supplement capabilities and use the same ground control station and software for added simplicity and efficiency.
The Puma AE system was developed by AeroVironment to win a 2008 United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) competitive program of record. Following that, the system was supplied to the U.S. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Coastal Riverine Forces, the US Army for convoy and ground troop support and the US Marine Corps.
The Navy acquired Puma AE systems for use aboard Patrol Craft. The Navy also deployed the UAS on a U.S. Navy Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF) ship in support of counter organized crime operations in the Caribbean.
The Puma AE is also being deployed by several international partners, as well.