The Royal Canadian Navy is to field the AeroVironment Puma II AE aboard its maritime coastal defence vessels. The systems will feature the Mantis i45 sensor suite and a 360o antenna, which the manufacturer said: “delivers a dramatic leap in small UAS image resolution and ISR capability”.
AeroVironment said fielding the Puma II AE will improve Royal Canadian Navy interoperability with NATO forces and support coalition mission integration. The system includes a more powerful and lighter propulsion system, lighter and stronger airframe, long-endurance battery, precision inertial navigation system and an improved user interface.
AeroVironment developed the Puma AE to win a 2008 United States Special Operations Command competitive program of record. Designated RQ-20B, the system has been used by the US Navy, US Marine Corps and US Army. A third-generation iteration was announced by the company late last year.