The Belgian Land Component (Dutch: Landcomponent, French: Composante terre) will buy four mini-UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) of the type RQ-20 Puma, which are produced by the Californian AeroVironment, and two Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS) of the type RQ-21 Integrator. The Belgian Defense ministry purchase concerns new drones in collaboration with Dutch and Luxembourg colleagues. The Belgian Council of Ministers gave its approval for this on December 18. AeroVironment is the Pentagon’s top supplier of small drones â€” including the Raven, Wasp and Puma models. These are provided by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.
The AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma is a small, battery powered, American, hand-launched unmanned vehicle system produced by AeroVironment based in California. Primary mission is surveillance and intelligence gathering using an electro-optical and infrared camera. Previously selected for the United States Special Operations Command in 2008, in March 2012 the United States Army ordered the Puma All Environment (AE) and designated it the RQ-20A. The Puma AE can operate under extreme weather conditions including temperatures ranging from âˆ’20 to 120 Â°F (âˆ’29 to 49 Â°C), wind speeds up to 25 knots (29 mph; 46 km/h), and an inch of rain per hour.
The Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack, formerly called the Integrator, is an American unmanned air vehicle designed and built by Boeing Insitu to meet a United States Navy requirement for a small tactical unmanned air system (STUAS). It is a twin-boom, single-engine monoplane, designed as a supplement to the Boeing Scan Eagle. The RQ-21A Blackjack is designed to support the U.S. Marine Corps by providing forward reconnaissance. The Integrator weighs 61 kg (134 lb) and uses the same launcher and recovery system as the Scan Eagle. Its wingspan is 16 ft (4.9 m) and it can carry a 39 lb (18 kg) payload. The day/night camera can achieve resolution rating of 7 on the NIIRS scale at 8,000 ft (2,400 m).