Air Force orders Puma UAS

April 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM
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MONROVIA, Calif., April 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has ordered an undisclosed number of Puma small unmanned aerial systems from AeroVironment of California.

The order for the Pumas -- the first Air Force order for the aircraft -- comes through an existing U.S. Army contract. It is a firm fixed-price order and worth $2.4 million, the company said.

The order was received this month and the aircraft will be delivered before the month is over.

The Puma, which is battery-powered, weighs 13 pounds, has a flight endurance of 2 hours and carries an integrated electro-optical and infrared gimbaled video camera.

Each Puma system consists of three air vehicles and two ground control systems.

"More military services are choosing the Puma system because its longer duration and more precise imagery deliver enhanced organic reconnaissance," said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

"The Air Force already employs our RQ-11B Raven and Wasp small unmanned aircraft systems. With the Puma small UAS they will have a more comprehensive set of capabilities for force protection and force multiplication, anywhere and at any time."

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