Hand-launched military drone receives new payload kit for even more spy power
One of the biggest names in the world of manual launch military drones is without a doubt AeroVironment. The American company is responsible for manufacturing a diverse line of these machines, including the Puma and Raven, and spares no expense to keep them relevant on the battlefield.
As is, the Puma comes with a gimbal payload that contains an infrared camera and illuminator, capable of continuous 360-degree pan and +10 to -90 degree tilt. None of the parties involved in the arrival of the new payload kit (AeroVironment and the United States Special Operations Command) have said anything about the new payloads that could be used on the drone.
The Puma AE RQ-20B is one of those little spy machines that the enemy never expects and hardly ever sees coming. AE stands for All Environment, and that’s the perfect description for this winged machine which is fully waterproof and can land in water or on the ground.
After being launched by hand or from a special rail, the drone can travel up to 20 km (12.4 miles) in a single sortie, or over three hours. Its speed is between 47 and 83 km / h (29 to 51 mph), depending on conditions.
AeroVironment said this week that it is expected to start delivering the new payload kits for existing AE drones in November of this year.