Military Knowledge: RQ-20 Puma Drone

Tuesday 4 August 2020 - 14:57

AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma is a small, battery powered, American hand-launched unmanned aircraft system produced by AeroVironment based in Monrovia, California. Primary mission is surveillance and intelligence gathering using an electro-optical and infrared camera.

The RQ-20 Puma is designed for missions such as tactical intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (ISRT), maritime patrol, search-and-rescue, and counter-illicit trafficking.

The Puma All Environment model (AE) can operate under extreme weather conditions including temperatures ranging from −20 to 120 °F (−29 to 49 °C), wind speeds up to 25 knots (29 mph; 46 km/h), and an inch of rain per hour. The UAV is designed for land based and maritime operations and is capable of landing in the water or on land.

Equipped with both an electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) camera and illuminator, Puma AE keeps the operator’s “eyes on target”. Its precision navigation system with secondary GPS insures positional accuracy up to its 15 km range. An optional under wing transit bay easily integrates third party payloads such as communication relay, geo-location, or laser marker to meet the diverse needs of military or civilian applications. Puma AE can deliver 3.5+ hours of flight endurance while versatile smart battery options support diverse mission requirements.

RQ-20B (Block 2 Puma AE) includes a more powerful and lighter propulsion system, lighter and stronger airframe, long endurance battery, precision inertial navigation system an improved user interface, and the new, all environment Mantis i45 gimbal sensor suite.

Length: 1.4 m
Wingspan: 2.8 m
Max takeoff weight: 5.9 kg
Maximum speed: 83 km/h
Range: 15 km
Endurance: 2 hours
Service ceiling: 3048 m

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