AeroVironment, Inc., a provider of unmanned aircraft systems for both defense and commercial applications, announced last week it received a $3,228,856 firm-fixed-price contract on Sept. 14, 2018 from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to provide RQ-20B Puma AE II small unmanned aircraft systems, training and support to an allied nation in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) area of responsibility. Delivery is anticipated by March 30, 2019.
“The vast, diverse landscape of the INDOPACOM area of operation demands small unmanned aircraft systems that can support ground, riverine and maritime operations effectively,” said Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business. “The combat-proven Puma has demonstrated its unique effectiveness in a wide range of operating environments, from mountains to deserts, from the Arctic to Antarctica, on land and on the open ocean, delivering actionable intelligence to help customers proceed with certainty.”
AeroVironment’s family of small drones comprise the majority of all unmanned aircraft in the U.S. DOD inventory and its rapidly growing international customer base numbers more than 45 allied governments. “This contract is a good example of the additional procurement potential among our international customers,” said Flittie.
The AeroVironment Puma is designed for land-based and maritime operations. Capable of landing in water or on the ground, the all-environment Puma, with its Mantis i45 sensor suite, empowers the operator with extended flight time and a level of imaging capability never before available in the small UAS class.