We have already written about the possibility of delivering of the latest AeroVironment Switchblades killer drones to Ukraine. Now their delivery has been confirmed, and it has also become known that along with these weapons, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be provided with AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma reconnaissance UAVs, Politico journalist Paul McLeary reported on Twitter .
AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma is a small reconnaissance drone of an airplane configuration that can be launched right out of the hand. The UAV is designed so that it takes just a few minutes to get ready for operation, and the electric motor, onboard controller and other elements of the drone can be quickly replaced in the field. The drone can carry four surveillance cameras, two of which operate in the visible spectrum and two in the infrared.
RQ-20 Puma has been produced since 2007 by AeroVironment, the same company, that created kamikaze Switchblades drones, and the famous NASA Pathfinder, a solar-powered UAV. The cost of one RQ-20 Puma, which includes three drones and two ground stations, is about $250,000. To date, more than 1,000 AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma units have been produced, which, besides the United States and Great Britain, are used by almost all NATO countries and their partners.
Length – 1,4 m
Wingspan – 2.8 m
Maximum takeoff weight – 5.9 kg
Engine power – 1 hp
Maximum speed – 83 km/h
Cruising speed – 37 km/h
Operating range – up to 60 km (LRTA Puma)
Flight time – up to 5.5 hours (Puma LE)
Models and modifications
RQ-20 Puma — basic model, 2007.
RQ-20A Puma – military version of the basic model.
RQ-20A Puma AE – upgraded version with 1.5 times longer flight time
Solar Puma is a version with solar panels.
RQ-20B is an upgraded version of the Puma AE with a better power system, long-life battery, new inertial navigation system and other improvements
LRTA Puma – a version of the Puma AE with a new antenna, which allows to increase the operational radius up to 60 km.
Puma LE – a modification with an improved battery, increasing the flight time to 5.5 hours.