September 02, 2010      

AeroVironment Inc. announced that it has received a contract delivery order valued at $35,265,662 for digital Puma All Environment unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), spares, and training services. The equipment and services were procured under the existing USSOCOM All Environment Capable Variant (AECV) indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract. Work is scheduled to be performed within a period of several months. Capable of performing multiple surveillance and reconnaissance missions over water or land, Puma systems will be used by soldiers to protect troops and vehicles in combat areas. “The battle-proven Puma system will now play an important new role helping troops operate more effectively and safely as they travel through dangerous territory,” says Tom Herring, senior vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s UAS segment. “The Puma system is a portable, hand-launched UAS that will enhance soldier capabilities by producing aerial high quality color and infrared video of the surrounding area.” USSOCOM selected the Puma UAS in 2008 for its AECV program after a full and open competition, the fourth U.S. Department of Defense competition for programs of record involving small UAS and the fourth such competition won by AeroVironment. Other U.S. customers also use the Puma system. Each Puma system consists of three air vehicles and two ground control systems. The air vehicle carries an integrated electro-optical and infrared gimbaled video camera, is designed for enhanced survivability in land and maritime environments, and operates in foul weather and over rugged terrain. Its quiet operation, stabilized imagery, and precision landing capability make Puma systems easy to operate and recover, according to the company. The Puma air vehicle weighs 13 pounds, is battery powered, and has a flight endurance of two hours.