Marines acquiring Puma UAS

April 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM

MONROVIA, Calif., April 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps is receiving RQ-20A Puma AE unmanned aircraft systems from AeroVironment through a contract the company has with the U.S. Army.

With the firm fixed-price deal, worth $5.5 million, the Marine Corps becomes the first service to adopt four different UAS systems from AeroVironment. It already operates the RQ-14 Dragon Eye, the RQ-11B Raven and the Wasp.

"The Marine Corps was the first military service to formalize the adoption of small unmanned aircraft systems and is now the first to adopt four of our systems, recognizing the life-saving value of this capability," said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.

"When time is shortest and risk is highest, small UAS deliver critical information that helps troops do their jobs more safely and effectively."

AeroVironment said delivery of the Puma AE would be made shortly.

The Puma AE is battery operated, weighs 13 pounds, has a flight endurance of two hours and carries an electro-optical and infrared gimbaled video camera.

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