UN launches un­manned sur­veil­lance


Selex ES Falco tac­ti­cal un­manned aerial Sys­tem (UAS) took to the air to be­gin its role sup­port­ing the United Na­tion (UN) peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo (DRC). Selex ES was awarded a three-year con­tract for the Falco UAS to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing and sur­veil­lance ca­pa­bil­ity to the UN op­er­a­tions along the Rwan­dan and Ugan­dan bor­ders.

The Falco is an un­armed mis­sion-proven medium al­ti­tude, medium en­durance UAV ca­pa­ble of op­er­at­ing from semi-pre­pared airstrips with fully au­to­mated take-off, land­ing and mis­sion ex­e­cu­tion ca­pa­bil­ity.

The ve­hi­cles for the UN peace­keep­ing mis­sions were trans­ported from Italy with the sup­port of the Ital­ian Air Force on-board a C-130J air­craft op­er­ated by the Pisa-based 46th Aer­o­bri­gade. The flight took off on Novem­ber 13 from Pisa air­port and stopped in Luxur, Egypt, and Nairobi, Kenya for plat­form main­te­nance. The C-130J ar­rived and un­loaded the Falco at Goma Air­port in Congo on Novem­ber 15.

The plat­form was se­lected for the UN peace­keep­ing mis­sion in the DRC be­cause of its proven abil­ity to per­form long en­durance sur­veil­lance mis­sions, its out­stand­ing avail­abil­ity, ease of de­ploy­ment and ex­cel­lent track record in ser­vice op­er­a­tions. They have a range of 250-km from their base in Goma with the pos­si­bil­ity of a greater sur­veil­lance range with the ad­di­tion of fur­ther bases that can eas­ily be set up.

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