USS Oak Hill Launches Puma AE UAV

USS Oak Hill Launches Puma AE UAV
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Childs

Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 3 Detachment (Det.) 1 launched an Aqua Puma All Environment (AE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from the weather deck of USS Oak Hill (LSD 51)  in support of Amphibious – Southern Partnership Station 2012.

The Aqua Puma is a hand-launched, high-wing monoplane with an electrically driven pusher propeller capable of water landings. It can fly for more than two hours and soar to heights of approximately 3,000 feet.

“This is the first time we’ve attempted to use the UAV from aboard a moving vessel this size with so many other service branches present,” said Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Nicholas Nelson of RIVRON 3 Det. 1.

The system is lightweight, portable and fitted with tiny high-resolution cameras that provide operators with real-time video footage of people and places on the ground and sea. It can support maritime patrols and special operations teams in search and rescue disaster response operations.

“We can fly it at any time, day or night and it is water recoverable, making it an ideal choice for ships,” said RIVRON 3 Det. 1 Officer-in-charge Lt. Michael Diehl.

The addition of the Aqua Puma AE UAV and RIVRON 3 Det. 1 extends the mission capabilities of A-SPS 12.

“The one-pilot system Aqua Puma, used by Riverine forces, has become a part of Amphibious Southern Partnership Station 12, with the ultimate goal of integrating the Riverine force with Oak Hill and its other attached units,” said Diehl.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.