Magazine article National Defense

Army Plans to Buy New Small Drone

Magazine article National Defense

Army Plans to Buy New Small Drone

Article excerpt

The Army wants to procure a new small unmanned aircraft which will be packaged as a kit along with the RQ-20 Puma and RQ-11 Raven.

The short-range micro unmanned aerial system will be a part of the Army's family of small UAS, said product manager Lt. Col. Nick Kioutas.

"We don't know what the short-range micro ... is going to look like, but it's probably some sort of a quadcopter," he said. "The soldier can take that out and land it somewhere and continue to get video feeds. We call it perch-and-stare capability."

Army officials in November signed a capability production document for a kit of small drones called the rucksack-portable unmanned aircraft system. Along with the short-range micro aircraft, this family of UAS would include the long-range reconnaissance surveillance system and medium-range mobile system. The Army has no immediate plans to buy new aircraft to perform those roles. Instead, the kit will include AeroVironment's Puma and Raven, respectively.

While some units operate both Pumas and Ravens, the aircraft have never been part of a common kit, Kioutas said. The idea is that a unit would have a mixture of all three systems, and soldiers would be able to choose what UAS to bring along during a mission. …

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