AeroVironment drones have already made their way into Ukraine, and they continue to play a role in U.S. defense capabilities. Their switchblade drone has played a key role in successful missions in Ukraine. Recently, the robotics contractor received a $6,166,952 firm-fixed-price contract award for Puma™ 3 AE small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) with the U.S. Marine Corps. Delivery of the system is anticipated to be completed in July 2022.
Puma™ 3 AE small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS)
“Puma 3 AE has proven itself as the ideal solution for low-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in any operational environment and continues to serve as the backbone of the U.S. Marine Corps Medium Range/Medium Endurance Forces,” said Trace Stevenson, AeroVironment vice president and product line general manager for SUAS.
AeroVironment’s Puma 3 AE delivers mission critical capabilities in all environments. Puma 3 AE has a wingspan of 9.2 feet (2.8 meters), weighs 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) and can operate up to 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA). Multi-mission capable, operators can easily swap Puma 3 AE’s payloads quickly, selecting between the Mantis™ i45 and the enhanced night variant, Mantis i45 N. Puma 3 AE is launchable by hand, bungee, rail, or vehicle, and is recoverable by deep-stall landing, providing class-leading capabilities in challenging environments around the world. It also can land in salt water, fresh water, or on land.
Aerovironment is a Global Weapons Provider
AeroVironment’s SUAS not only keep the U.S. DoD inventory full, but they are also rapidly growing international customer base numbers with more than 50 allied governments. Those numbers include Ukraine. AeroVironment’s CEO, Wahid Nawabi said the they are producing thousands of the weapons and have an eye out for supplying them to Ukraine. Nawabi, whose family fled from Afghanistan in 1982 following the Soviet invasion, feels like this mission is personal. He recalls seeing a Soviet helicopter gunships strike targets in his native land. He desires to help the Ukrainians.