AeroVironment expands small UAS product line with Puma LE launch

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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.

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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.

Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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