FRIDAY FOTO (November 23, 2012)

November 23, 2012 at 3:18 am Leave a comment

Go Get ’em

Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Hillary Rustine

U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Tacket, launches an RQ-20 Puma, a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) during training at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Small drones like the Puma are in high demand in Afghanistan, especially with Army and Marine Corps ground forces. The Marine Corps placed a $5.5 million order with the manufacturer, AeroVironment, in April. The Marines want the 13-pound, hand-launched UAV to help spot roadside bombs (known as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs), Marine Times reported.

In March, the U.S. Army placed a $20.4 million order with Monrovia, California-based Aerovironment for the RQ-20A AE, the latest version. Called the “all environment” it can fly in all weather, day or night, according to the manufacturer.

The RQ-20A AE is equipped with an electro-optical and infrared video camera that rotates on a gimbal.  The Puma is battery-powered and can stay aloft for two hours.

In 2008, U.S. Special Operations Command picked the Puma for its All Environment Capable Variant (AECV) program.
Tacket is assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

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Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Counter Insurgency, FRIDAY FOTO, National Security and Defense, Photos, Skills and Training, Special Operations, Technology, Unconventional Warfare, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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