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AeroVironment gets $19.7M to deliver RQ-20 Puma drones for Ukraine by end of May

RQ-20 Puma
US Marine Corps photo of an operator launching an RQ-20 Puma at San Clemente Island, California.

The US defense ministry has awarded AeroVironment a $19.7 million contract for the delivery of RQ-20 Puma AE systems for Ukraine.

The contract announcement did not reveal the quantity of the drones that will be delivered, but did reveal a rather short delivery timeframe.

According to the contract announcement, the company is to deliver the drones by May 30, after the US Pentagon first said it would be sending the unmanned aerial systems to Ukraine earlier this month.

The hand-launched Puma UAS is designed for both land and maritime operations, and has a wingspan of 9.2 feet. With a weight of 15 pounds, the system can operate for up to 2.5 hours. The aircraft also has a range of 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) with a standard antenna, and up to 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA).

Puma is not the only unmanned aerial system the US is delivering to Ukraine for its defense against Russia’s invasion. The Pentagon is also sending Switchblade tactical unmanned aerial systems (UAS), as well as counter-UAS systems, heavier artillery, missiles, and unmanned vessels.