AeroVironment from US to provide Ukraine with RQ-20 Puma AE UAS Unmanned Aerial Systems
According to a contract published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on April 14, 2022, American company AeroVironment Inc., Simi Valley, California, was awarded a $19,737,523 firm-fixed-price contract for RQ-20 Puma AE systems, reconnaissance surveillance and target acquisition kits, initial spares package, contractor logistics support and new equipment training for the country of Ukraine.
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Sgt. Curtis Peterson, a cavalry scout with Troop B, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard, performs pre-flight checks on an RQ-20 PUMA unmanned aircraft system during a class at Camp Nothing Hill, Kosovo, on Jan. 21, 2020. (Picture source U.S. DoD)
On April 14, 2022, the United States announced more than $3.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including approximately $2.6 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked assault on February 24, 2022.
The United States continues to expedite the authorization and facilitation of additional assistance to Ukraine from our Allies. At least 30 countries have provided security assistance to Ukraine since this Russian invasion began. In 2022, the Department of State authorized third-party transfers of defensive equipment from more than 14 countries, a number that continues to grow as Allies and Partners increase support to Ukraine.
On April 14, 2022, the United States published a list of military equipment that will be supplied to Ukraine, including an undisclosed number of Puma UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). With the official publication of this contract, we can confirm that the United States will deliver RQ-20 Puma AE produced by the American company AeroVironment.
The Puma AE (All Environment) is a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designed for land-based and maritime operations. This UAV is designed to conduct intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition (ISRT) missions. It has a length of 1.4 m, a wingspan of 2.8 m, and a weight of 5.9 kg. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 500ft and has a maximum speed of 83 km/h and a range of 15 km.
The Puma carries both an electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) camera plus an illuminator on a lightweight mechanical gimbaled payload, allowing the operator to keep “eyes on the target.” For increased payload capacity, an optional underwing Transit Bay is available for easy integration of 3rd party payloads such as communications relay, geo-locations, or laser markers.
The precision navigation system with secondary GPS provides greater positional accuracy and reliability of the Puma AE. The UAV is operated from AeroVironment’s battle-proven ground control station (GCS) with a communications range of 15 km. The GCS allows the operator to control the aircraft manually or program it for GPS-based autonomous navigation.