AeroVironment [AVAV] has received two deals totaling $20.9 million to deliver Puma 3 AE small drones to a pair of allied nations as well as a $20.6 million contract from the Army for its Switchblade 300 loitering munitions, the company said last week.
The new Army deal for Switchblade 300s was officially awarded on Aug. 18 and covers deliveries through July 2023, according to the company.
“Deployed by the U.S. Army for more than a decade, Switchblade 300 remains a critical force protection and soldier lethality solution for our customers, including Ukraine,” Brett Hush, AeroVironment’s vice president and product line general manager for tactical missiles systems, said in a statement. “It closes the gap between observation and action, giving soldiers the ability to identify threats and engage hostile beyond-line-of-sight targets from a greater distance with minimal collateral damage.”
As of Sept. 15, the U.S. has also supplied Ukraine with over 700 Switchblade loitering munitions, according to the Pentagon.
AeroVironment in May previously received a $18 million contract awarded with Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds for Switchblade 300s.
The full list of $1.2 billion in USAI contracts awarded so far also includes a $2.2 million deal to AeroVironment on Sept. 15 for the new extended-range Switchblade 600 system and a $20 million award from April 22 for PUMA drones, according to the Pentagon.
The Pentagon’s breakdown of contracts awarded to replenish inventories of equipment provided to Ukraine includes an $8 million deal to AeroVironment on Aug. 22 for Switchblade 300s.
While AeroVironment did not specify the two allied nations set to receive Puma 3 AEs under the new foreign military sale contracts, it noted the details include the drones, initial spares packages, training and logistics support.
“With each new generation of Puma, optimizations have been made for more robust flight, durability and operational flexibility but its purpose of providing reliable and persistent situational awareness, critical force protection and force multiplication capabilities to our customers remains the same,” Trace Stevenson, AeroVironment’s vice president and product line general manager for small UAS, said in a statement. “Our allies are continuing to adopt and deploy Puma 3 AE and other AeroVironment systems as they recognize the importance of equipping their frontline forces with lifesaving, force overmatch solutions.”
AeroVironment noted the Puma 3 AE surveillance and intelligence gathering drone has a wingspan of 9.2 feet, weighs 15.4 pounds, can operate up to 60 kilometers and is launchable by hand, bungee, rail or vehicle.