Aerovironment UAS deal with Middle East country worth $44.5 million

MONROVIA, Calif. Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) company AeroVironment, Inc. recently announced that a major country in the Middle East has awarded the company a contract valued at $44.5 million to provide Puma II AE small UASs featuring the new Mantis i45 sensor.

The Puma AE small is equipped, say Aerovironment officials, with the Mantis i45 sensor suite that enables operators to see better and farther than ever before, which feeds operators enhanced actionable intelligence. The Puma AE -- which can handle ground and water landings -- is rugged, portable, and waterproof.

The onboard Mantis i45 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) gimbal sensor suite, according to Aerovironment materials, delivers improved imaging capabilities to give users world-class intelliegence, surveillance, and reconnaissance () capabilities comparable to platforms many times the size and cost of Puma AE. In operations, the Mantis i45 can lower the likelihood of detection by increasing the distance between the UAS and areas it is observing; additionally, its high-resolution imagery also aids in target analysis, positive identification, and enables operators to identify threats to friendly forces more effectively.

Puma AE carries an enhanced precision navigation system with secondary GPS to provide positional accuracy and reliability. Moreover, AeroVironment’s common ground control system enables the operator to control the small craft manually or program it for GPS-based autonomous navigation.

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