AeroVironment to produce more RQ-20B and Puma drones for US Army

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense on November 9, 2022, American company AeroVironment Inc. was awarded an $86,424,635 firm-fixed-price contract to produce more RQ-20B All Environment 3 and the Long Endurance Puma unmanned aircraft systems for US army.
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U.S. Marines with 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Information Group, launch an RQ-20B Puma during MEF Exercise (MEFEX) 21.1 at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, Nov. 9, 2020. (Picture sourceU.S. DoD )

The RQ-20B is an upgraded version of the Puma UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) designed and manufactured by the American company AeroVironment. It is designed to conduct tactical intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (ISRT), maritime patrol, search and rescue (SAR), and counter-illicit trafficking missions.

Citing information from the "Naval-Technology" website, the RQ-20B carries an electro-optical / infrared (EO / IR) camera system and illuminator in a lightweight, mechanically-stabilized gimbal payload pod fitted beneath the fuselage. It can also carry additional payloads, such as a laser marking system, communications relay, and geolocation sensor, in an optional under-wing Transit Bay.

The RQ-20B is able to fly at a speed between 37 to 84 km/h and transmit telemetry data over a range of 15 km. It can fly at 500 ft altitude and offers a flight time of more than three hours.

The Puma is a series of unmanned aerial systems which are electrically powered and used to perform surveillance and intelligence missions using an electro-optical and infrared camera.