In an interview with defensehere.com, the Vice President of Global Business Development, Sales and Marketing of AeroVironment, Charles E. Dean, introduced the wide range of systems the company produces.
Dean Introduced the company saying “We're from AeroVironment, one of the largest producers of unmanned aircraft systems and ground robots in the world. We're in 55 different countries today. We have our products in in Poland and other countries in the region, but also in the Pacific region, in the Middle East and Africa. All the major markets of the world.”
Asked about the PUMA Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) produced by the company, and which has proved its high efficiency in many countries around the world, Dean said “The PUMA system, which we have on display here is our PUMA 80 all environment, very popular reconnaissance aircraft used by many forces, not only land forces, but also maritime force.”
“It's called all environment because it can land in water. It can fly in the rain. It doesn't care about the weather. So we use those in about 40 different countries around the world today. So a very, very dependable aircraft system,” he added.
Dean also explained that the Puma 3 AE displayed at the company’s booth has larger sibling dubbed the puma, long endurance LE. “It is about twice the size of the aircraft we have in the booth today It's also used around the world. Puma is heavily used in Egypt. There are many hundreds of Puma's that are used by the Egyptian armed forces. So that's a great example of a country that greatly depends on the reconnaissance capabilities, small form factor, all weather capabilities of the PUMA system. Turkey also has them. So is Saudi Arabia; heavily counts on the PUMA system.”
He further defined the PUMA UAV as modular system that is capable of carrying many different types of payloads and he added “That's one of the reasons why our customers enjoy using the PUMA. So one can add and subtract different payloads. Has very capable camera system; both day and night and it also easily assembles so it can be carried in a small package quickly put together in a few minutes, the operators going to have their aircraft up, up and flying.”
Dean also introduced the company’s loitering munition which is available in two variants: the switchblade 600 and the switchblade 300. “We developed we invented loitering munitions at AeroVironment,” he said, adding “The switchblade 300 is today's evolution of our early inventions. Switchblade 300s are used by a number of countries around the world, heavily used by American forces and heavily used in Ukraine today.”
Dean also explained that the United States have been providing Ukraine not only with the Switchblade 300s, but also with the Switchblade 600s for the last year and a half. He further introduced the Switchblade 600 saying “Very capable system has a 90-kilometer range. Every armored target in the world can be defeated by the switchblade 600. We're always working to evolve our products, take them to the next level, add additional features, add additional long range communications.”
Dean also underlined that AeroVironment doesn’t only develop and produce UAVs, but Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) as well, saying “Now in Germany, we make our ground robots. So our ground robots are very versatile, p rimarily use for explosive ordnance disposal. So for bomb squads, military bomb squad and as well as law enforcement police bomb squads.”
He also stressed that AeroVironment doesn’t only provide Ukraine with UAVs, but UGVs as well saying “We have nine different types of products operating in Ukraine in some of the most harsh combat environments in the world. We have thousands of systems in Ukraine,” He underlined.