LAAD 2019: AeroVironment receives United States FMS contract for Puma UAS

03 April 2019

AeroVironment unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on display at LAAD 2019 (from top): Puma, Raven, and Wasp. Source: IHS Markit/Pat Host

Key Points

  • AeroVironment received a contract from a US allied nation for its Puma tactical UAS
  • The company has ongoing efforts with Latin American nations to spur sales

AeroVironment received a USD17 million foreign military sale (FMS) contract from a US ally in March for the its RQ-20 Puma tactical unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the company announced on 2 April at the LAAD Defence and Security exposition, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The deal is a firm, fixed-price contract and delivery is anticipated by September, according to a company statement. Gerard Robottom, AeroVironment international market area director, declined to tell Jane’s the customer on 2 April at the exposition, but said the deal includes the Puma aircraft, logistics, and training.

AeroVironment is looking to increase its presence in Latin America according to Robottom, who said the company has ongoing campaigns in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru and that it has been at LAAD the last few sessions. Milton Quiros, AeroVironment tactical UAS international business development director, told Jane’s there is a big push by regional navies to acquire larger operational and strategic UAS for some of their smaller boats. He said the Puma works well for this requirement as it has a range 20 km and is waterproof.

Quiros said Colombia bought the midsize Raven UAS roughly five years ago and that he is working with it to provide the larger Puma aircraft, which is capable of flying for 2.5–3 hours. The Raven is capable of flying for 60–90 minutes with a range of 10 km.

AeroVironment’s smaller UAS, the Wasp, can fly for 50 minutes. The UASs all share the same ground control station (GCS).

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