Canadian navy takes mini unmanned aircraft systems

| Transport

Puma II AE UAV for use on Canadian Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels
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The Puma II AE UAV from AeroVironment will perform maritime surveillance operations to support the activities of the Royal Canadian Navy.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has acquired an AeroVironment Puma II AE, maritime mini unmanned aircraft system, for fielding aboard RCN Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV). The Puma II AE systems will include the Mantis i45 sensor and a 360-degree antenna system. MDA partnered with AeroVironment to satisfy the requirement of the Department of National Defence of Canada for the Maritime Miniature Unmanned Aircraft System (MMUAS).

The UAV configuration is proven to operate successfully and reliably from ships and able to land in water, float until recovered and continue immediate maritime surveillance operations

“The addition of our Mantis i45 sensor and 360-degree antenna system expands the capability of Puma II AE to support maritime operations. This solution also builds on AeroVironment’s extensive operational experience with small UAS to provide the Royal Canadian Navy with a low-cost, hand-launched capability that is optimised for contested environments,” said Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “AeroVironment’s small UAS have helped transform the way US and allied forces plan, train, equip and operate. Fielding Puma II AE to the Canadian Navy allows interoperability with NATO forces and supports coalition mission integration.”

Canada previously acquired AeroVironment’s Raven UAS and its defence forces have employed Raven systems extensively.

RCN’s adoption of the Puma II AE marks another step in the growing need and fielding of MMUAS for the international surface combatant and coastal craft market. With the Family of Systems (FOS) concept, customers can add other AeroVironment UAS that will augment capabilities and utilise the same ground control station and software for added simplicity and efficiency.

The block 2 Puma AE 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. The all-environment Mantis i45 gimbal sensor suite for Puma AE delivers a dramatic leap in small UAS image resolution and ISR capability.

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