U.S. Navy Deploys Puma UAS from Patrol Ships

Posted on August 31, 2016 James Hinds aerospace news

Bill Carey wrote an article for AIN Online talking about how the U.S. Navy launched the unmanned aircraft system (or UAS) from a coastal patrol ship in the Arabian Gulf. The unmanned aircraft system was launched so that it could scout and provide surveillance during the missile testing. Not only was the unmanned aircraft system tested from coastal patrol ships, but also from guided missile destroyers as well as fast transport ships. The unmanned aircraft system is called the RQ-20A Puma.

During the missile testing that went on from July 19th to the 25th, the RQ-20A Puma was being launched from the cycline class coastal patrol ship called the USS Monsoon. The Monsoon is considered one of the ten patrol coastal ships that is home ported in Manama, Bahrain. Manama, Bahrain is the 5th Fleet area of operations for the U.S.

The RQ-20A Puma has a weight of 14 pounds and can get a flight time over around 3 hours. In these 3 hours, the Puma can go up to a range of 9 miles and as high as 500 feet. There are electro-optical and infrared cameras that enable the unmanned aircraft system to stream video and imagery to different locations.

Here is what Inez Kelly, the Office of Naval Research science advisor, had to say about the Puma.

“The goal was to put Pumas on ships that don’t have a helicopter or an organic airborne capability of some kind. The Pumas and other small UAVs give those platforms some eyes in the sky they never had before. They allow ships to have better situational awareness of where they are by providing an overlook capability.”

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