AeroVironment has launched the Puma LE (Long Endurance), the next generation in its Puma All Environment small UAS product line.
The company says Puma LE builds on the combat-proven Puma AE legacy with new capabilities which include increased range and expanded payload capacity.
With the integrated Mantis i45 gimbaled EO/IR sensor and NVG-visible laser illuminator, AeroVironment says the Puma LE provides the warfighter with superior imagery for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) during day, night and low-light operations on land and in maritime environments.
Delivering Group 2 capabilities in a Group 1 footprint, the aircraft weighs only 22.5 pounds (10.4 kilograms), and is launchable by hand or bungee.
On-board batteries provide 5.5 hours of flight endurance, doubling the time on station of Puma 3 AE, with an operational range of 60 kilometers when used with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA).
Designers say the Puma LE is purpose-built for multi-mission operations with up to 5.5 pounds of total payload capacity.
Rick Pedigo, vice president for sales and business development for AeroVironment, said: “Puma LE is the next generation of the combat-proven Puma AE small UAS, delivering immediate tactical ISR, extended endurance and a dedicated secondary payload bay to dramatically expand its mission capabilities.”
He added: “With Puma LE, AeroVironment expands the envelope of small unmanned aircraft systems, and enables our customers to proceed with certainty in ever-changing operational environments.”
Puma LE can be operated manually or autonomously with the common GCS.
AeroVironment is now accepting orders for Puma LE, with expected delivery in spring 2020.