Sweden signs deal for unmanned Puma, Wasp fleet

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Sweden's army is to acquire Puma AE (All Environment) and Wasp small and micro unmanned air vehicles from US company AeroVironment, under a deal announced on 11 June.

Confirming its receipt of a fixed-price contract from Sweden's Defence Materiel Administration, AeroVironment says the deal comprises "12 hybrid small unmanned aircraft systems", plus portable common ground control stations, training and logistics support.

Stockholm also has options which "could increase the procurement to a total of 30 systems", AeroVironment says.

Weighing less than 0.45kg (1lb), the hand-launched Wasp has a 0.72m (2.4ft) wing span, 5km (2.7nm) operating range and an endurance of 45min. It can carry an electro-optical (EO) or infrared (IR) camera to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks.

 

AeroVironment

Also hand-launched, the larger Puma AE (above) can be flown for up to 2h with an EO/IR sensor payload, and has a line-of-sight operating limit of 15km. The aircraft has a 2.8m wing span and a launch weight of 5.9kg.

"Numerous allied armed forces are adopting our small UAS because of their battle-proven force protection and force multiplication benefits to small tactical units," says Roy Minson, general manager of AeroVironment's Unmanned Aircraft Systems business area.

The new acquisition will provide the Swedish army with a capability to operate beneath its AAI Shadow 200 tactical air vehicles, which have been in use in Afghanistan since mid-2011.