US Army spends $20.4 million on rugged new AeroVironment drones

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The US Army has just added to its stable of unmanned aircrafts in a big way with the purchase of $20.4 million worth of new drones from manufacturer AeroVironment. The majority of the crafts will be used by the Army, but part of the contract also includes $5.5 million worth for the US Marines. Both branches will be acquiring an unspecified number of Puma AE drones — a rugged 13-pound aircraft designed to land on both ground and water, which is outfitted with an electro-optical and infrared video camera for surveillance and intelligence gathering. While the Marines haven't specified what the Pumas will be used for, the Army already has plans for its drones, which will be deployed in Afghanistan. And at those prices, let's hope they're deployed soon and not just left to sit around.

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