AeroVironment Inc. will deliver in the next few months its Puma unmanned aircraft to the U.S. Special Operations Command to fulfill a $65 million contract. The 13-pound, battery operated Puma aircraft are used for reconnaissance missions in war zones. “Puma systems have demonstrated their effectiveness and are receiving high marks from customers for their image quality and overall capabilities,” said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “Like Raven and Wasp, Puma is helping to expand the role of small unmanned aircraft systems, and in the process is protecting our forces and helping them do their jobs more effectively.” The Puma aircraft was chosen by the special operations command in 2008 for its unmanned vehicle program. It is one of four Defense Department programs that AeroVironment supplies with aircraft made at its Simi Valley manufacturing plant.