AeroVironment has received a contract from the US Department of Defence (DoD) to provide Puma AE II small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to an allied nation.

The $17.35m firm-fixed-price contract also requires the company to deliver training and support.

AeroVironment expects to supply the Puma AE II UAS under the foreign military sales programme by September this year.

The Puma All Environment (AE) aircraft is designed to provide immediate tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) to maritime and land-based operations.

AeroVironment sales and business development vice-president David Sharpin said: “The combat-proven Puma AE delivers rapid and effective tactical ISR in a wide range of operating environments over land and sea, providing the actionable intelligence to help customers proceed with certainty.

“The combat-proven Puma AE delivers rapid and effective tactical ISR in a wide range of operating environments.”

The company has so far supplied its family of small drones including RQ-11B Raven, RQ-12A Wasp and RQ-20A/B Puma to more than 45 allied governments.

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Sharpin added: “This contract award is another indication of the unique capabilities and value international customers recognise in our small UAS solutions.”

AeroVironment Puma AE is a fully man-portable drone that can be deployed in support of land and maritime operations.

The UAS has the ability to land in water or on land. Puma is equipped with Mantis i45 sensor suite, which provides extended flight time and improved imaging capability to the operator.

The company’s UAS systems operate with a common ground control system (GCS) and enable ground commanders to select the appropriate aircraft based on the type of mission.

AeroVironment noted that this capability could provide advantages in the form of force protection and force multiplication to small tactical units and security personnel.

In September, the firm secured a US DoD contract to provide RQ-20B Puma AE II small UAS to an allied nation in the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) area of responsibility.