The U.S. Navy has tested and deployed small drones made by AeroVironment Inc. aboard a guided missile destroyer.
The company, headquartered in Monrovia but with major operations in Simi Valley, has its RQ-20B Puma unmanned aircraft with a new autonomous recovery system aboard the USS Stout while in the Arabian Sea.
The recovery system involves the aircraft flying into a portable net. It allows for the aircraft to expand its capabilities supporting maritime operations, said Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.
“Puma AE’s ability to operate from a wide variety of surface vessels ensures rapid response reconnaissance capabilities that help our customers operate more safely and effectively and proceed with certainty,” Flittie said in a prepared statement.
The RQ-20B includes a more powerful and lighter propulsion system, lighter and stronger airframe and a long endurance battery compared with the earlier version of the aircraft.
Shares of AeroVironment (AVAV) closed up 60 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $28.78 on the Nasdaq.