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U.S. Defense Department orders Pumas

Aug. 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- AeroVironment Inc. is supplying its new digital Puma All Environment unmanned aircraft system to the U.S. military's Special Operations Command.

The aircraft and initial spares, procured through the existing USSOCOM All Environment Capable Variant indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, will be delivered 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.

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.

The Puma air vehicle weighs 13 pounds, is battery-powered and has a flight endurance of 2 hours.

The value of the order is more than $65.5 million.

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