In recent years, there has been a growing need in Maritime Miniature Unmanned Aircraft System (MMUAS) for the international surface combatant and coastal craft market.
The AeroVironment Puma II AE, a maritime mini unmanned aircraft system, has been purchased by the Canadian Navy for fielding aboard its Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV). The Puma II AE systems will include the Mantis i45 sensor and a 360-degree antenna system. MDA partnered with AeroVironment to satisfy the requirement of the Department of National Defence of Canada.
The addition of the Mantis i45 sensor antenna system expands the capability of Puma II AE to support maritime operations, providing the Canadian navy with a low-cost, hand-launched capability that is optimized for contested environments, according to the company announcement. The small UAS have helped transform the way U.S. and allied forces plan, train, equip and operate. Fielding the system to the Canadian Navy allows interoperability with NATO forces and supports coalition mission integration.
With the Family of Systems (FOS) concept, customers can add other AeroVironment UAS that will augment capabilities and utilize the same ground control station and software for added simplicity and efficiency.
AeroVironment developed the Puma AE system to win a 2008 United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) competitive program of record and subsequently supplied the system to the U.S. Navy, the Army for convoy and ground troop support and the Marine Corps. The Navy procured Puma AE systems for use aboard Patrol Craft and also deployed them on a U.S. Navy Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF) ship in support of counter organized crime operations in the Caribbean. The Puma AE is also being deployed by multiple international partners.