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AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma

Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS)

AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma

Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS)

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma is a small-class surveillance UAV utilized in large numbers by the US military.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 2008
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): AeroVironment - USA
PRODUCTION: 1,000
OPERATORS: Denmark; Sweden; United States
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 0
LENGTH: 4.59 feet (1.4 meters)
WIDTH: 9.19 feet (2.8 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 13 pounds (6 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 13 pounds (6 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Electric powerplant powering two-bladed propeller in puller mounting.
SPEED (MAX): 52 miles-per-hour (83 kilometers-per-hour; 45 knots)
RANGE: 9 miles (15 kilometers; 8 nautical miles)
CEILING: 499 feet (152 meters; 0.09 miles)




ARMAMENT



None.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• RQ-20 Puma - Base Series Designation
• RQ-20A (AE - "All Environment") - US military designation for initial production models.
• RQ-20 "Puma 3" - Upgraded, improved Puma product; Mantis i45 Electro-Optical (EO) sensor; upgraded airframe and data link.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS).  Entry last updated on 3/29/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma is one of the many intelligence-gathering unmanned aircraft system (UAS) currently in service with the United States military. The aircraft achieved first flight in 2007 and was adopted by United States Special Operations COMmand (better known as "SOCOM") in 2008 through the All-Environment Capable Variant (AECV) program. The Puma continues frontline operational level service as of 2013, being fielded in conjunction with various elements of the United States including special forces. Use of this UAS has since branched to include the United States Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. Production of the type is now represented in over 1,000 units produced by California-based AeroVironment. In US nomenclature, the Puma has been assigned the designation of "RQ-20A".

Unlike other highly publicized UAVs such as Predator and Reaper, the Puma is given a very small and compact profile for maximum portability. Its primary mission directive is that of surveillance and intelligence gathering for the purpose of a planned response while onboard systems can also be used to acquire targets. Its full mission scope is recognized as "ISRT" ("Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting"). The payload is modular in nature and can therefore be suited to customer requirements. The Puma design is entirely waterproof which protects vital systems such as the battery compartment, allowing the Puma to operate equally-effectively over water. Standard equipment includes a stabilized electro-optical (EO) and an infrared (IR) camera with infrared illuminator while the payload is gimbaled to provide 360-degree continuous panning. Power is served through a conventional engine spinning a two-bladed propeller unit mounted to the front of the fuselage. Its noise level is rather quiet, allowing the Puma to remain unnoticed to targets on the ground. Wings include a high-mounted main assembly with noticeable outboard dihedral and a traditional single-fin tail unit. The Puma is small enough to be managed by a single operator in the field with a second operator managing the Ground Control Station (GCS). Also unlike other larger UAV systems, the Puma is hand-launched with recovery accomplished through simple deep-stall landing. Being waterproof, the Puma can also land in water and be recovered as needed. The entire Puma system includes three aircraft and GCS units and no additional equipment is required.




AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma (Cont'd)

Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS)

AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma (Cont'd)

Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS)



The Puma features an overall length of 4 feet, 7 inches with a wingspan of 9 feet, 2 inches. Maximum take-off weight (MTOW) is listed at just 13 lbs. With its onboard propulsion system, the Puma can make 52 miles per hour out to a range of 9 miles. Flight time endurance is two hours. Despite these seemingly pedestrian specifications when compared to her larger brethren, the Puma is a budget-conscious alternative to the full-sized Predator and Reaper types. The Puma is also part of AeroVironment's established lineup of UAS vehicles that include the Raven and Wasp, both of these products being able to utilize the same provided GCS system.

Beyond the United States military, Denmark and Sweden added the RQ-20A system in June of 2012.

March 2018 - To satisfy growing market demand, AeroVironment has launched the new "Puma 3" Small Unmanned Air System (SUAS) line. Among its features is a revised airframe with modern Electro-Optical (EO) sensor package installed and a new protected datalink fit.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (52mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
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  TKY
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  SYD
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  NYC
Graph showcases the AeroVironment RQ-20A Puma's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1000
1000

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue