The German Navy has purchased AeroVironment’s Puma maritime unmanned aircraft system (UAS) under an urgent operational requirement basis.

AeroVironment has collaborated with German firm ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik to meet the requirements of the Bundesamt fur Ausrustung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw).

The Puma UAS is expected to be integrated with the Mantis i45 gimbal sensor and pocket remote video terminal (p/RVT) in support of the initiative.

"Fielding Puma to the German Navy provides rapid and effective force protection, as well as interoperability with Nato forces, supporting coalition mission integration."

AeroVironment UAS Business Segment vice-president and general manager Kirk Flittie said: “Our Puma UAS, equipped with our Mantis i45 sensor suite and p/RVT, packs significant capabilities into a portable platform that can operate on naval vessels without the need for modifications to the host ship.

“AeroVironment’s small UAS have helped transform the way US and allied forces plan, train, equip and operate.

“Fielding Puma to the German Navy provides rapid and effective force protection, as well as interoperability with Nato forces, supporting coalition mission integration.”

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The German Navy is slated to join the other Nato allies in fielding a maritime UAS system via the latest acquisition.

AeroVironment allows its customers to integrate the company’s other UASs to further enhance capabilities using its Family of Systems (FOS) concept.

The addition of other UAS solutions does not require any modifications and customers can use the same ground control station and software to ensure increased efficiency.

AeroVironment’s Puma AE small UAS is designed for land-based and maritime operations and is capable of landing both in the water and on land.

The company’s Mantis i45 gimbal developed is intended to provide lightweight, compact and powerful visual awareness to the Puma All Environment (AE) small UAS operator.

In addition, the backward-compatible, fully waterproof Mantis i45 supports an advanced suite of sensors, including ultra-high-resolution electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) imagers.

It also offers night-time and low-light capabilities, ranging from near-infrared (NIR) to long-wave infrared (LWIR) imagery.