Billy's Blog

It just wouldn’t be a military technology show without a few drones on display. One of the more interesting ones I encountered was AeroVironment’s new Puma LE. The “LE,” in case you’re wondering, stands for “Long Endurance.”

The Puma LE, which can be launched by hand, weighs just 22.5 pounds and offers a payload capacity of 5.5 pounds in its two payload bays, the second of which comes with a dedicated 18-24 volt power supply and Ethernet connection. Equipped with a Mantis i45 gimbaled EO/IR sensor and a NVG laser illuminator the Puma LE is designed for a mix of day, night, or low-light intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

According to AeroVironment, the Puma LE’s onboard batteries give it 5.5 hours of operating time. When used with their Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA), it has an operational range of up to 60 kilometers (37 miles).

What do you think? Share your questions and comments below.

the PUMA LE from AeroVironment, at AUSA 2019
The Puma LE drone (Image Credit: Bruce A. Bennett)