Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
Copyright © 2006-2007 Andreas Parsch

AeroVironment Puma

The Puma (Pointer Upgraded Mission Ability) UAV, which has been in development since 2001, is a significantly upgraded development of the FQM-151 Pointer using proven technologies from the RQ-11 Raven. The Pointer's single camera is replaced by two EO (Electro-Optical) and IR cameras each, which provides simultaneous forward- and side-looking color and thermal video imagery. Additionally, the maximum endurance of the UAV has more than doubled. Puma uses the same ground control and monitoring equipment as other AeroVironment UAVs, e.g. FQM-151 Pointer, RQ-11 Raven, RQ-14 Swift and Wasp. The Puma is launched and recovered in the same way as the Pointer (hand-launch and fully automatic deep-stall near-vertical recovery), and flies its missions typically at altitudes of 100-300 m (300-1000 ft) above ground and at speeds of about 25-50 km/h (15-31 mph).

Photos: AeroVironment Inc.

The Aqua Puma version is adapted for use in salt water environments, and can be landed directly onto the sea surface and recovered using any small watercraft. It is about 1 kg (2 lb) heavier than the baseline Puma, and has about 30 minutes less duration. A group within the U.S. Navy is now flying Aqua Pumas operationally. Other navies have also begun evaluation of Aqua Puma, including the Royal Australian Navy which has performed live sea trials.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for Puma:

Length1.8 m (5.9 ft)
Wingspan2.6 m (8.5 ft)
Weight4.5 kg (9.9 lb)
Speedmax: 100 km/h (60 mph): cruise: 25-50 km/h (15-31 mph)
Ceiling3800 m (12500 ft)
Range15 km (9 miles)
EndurancePrimary battery: 4 h
Rechargeable battery: 3 h
PropulsionElectric motor; 600 W

Main Sources

[1] AeroVironment Small UAVs Website
[2] Aviation Week & Space Technology "Aerospace SourceBook 2006"

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 6 January 2007