US Army orders RQ-20B Puma drones from AeroVironment - M5 Dergi
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US Army orders RQ-20B Puma drones from AeroVironment

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The US Army has awarded an $86.4-million contract to American defense firm AeroVironment to supply additional RQ-20B Puma drones.

According to the US Department of Defense, the service solicited bids for long endurance unmanned aircraft systems via the internet and only AeroVironment responded.

Work for the contract will be performed at an AeroVironment’s California facility, with an estimated completion date of September 2023.

The multimillion-dollar contract is the latest in a series of orders from the US Army for the Puma long-endurance drone.

Earlier this year, the company obtained an $11.24 million contract modification to provide nearly 50 more RQ-20B Puma 3 drones to the army.

Features and Capabilities

AeroVironment’s RQ-20B is a small unmanned aircraft system designed for tactical intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and maritime patrol.

With a wing span of 2.8 meters (9.1 feet), the drone can be operated from a range of naval platforms, including patrol ships, transport vessels, and guided missile destroyers.


It has a lightweight airframe for improved aerodynamic capabilities.


The Puma features an electro-optical/infrared camera system and can carry other payloads such as a laser marking system and geolocation sensor.


It has a maximum speed of 25 knots (46.3 kilometers/28.7 miles per hour) and flies at an altitude of up to 500 feet (152 meters).


The drone also offers a flight endurance of more than three hours.


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