Reaper drones: De­liv­ery of the sec­ond sys­tem and or­der of the fourth


The French Di­rec­tion Générale pour l’Arme­ment (DGA) or­dered a fourth MALE (medium al­ti­tude, long en­durance) Reaper un­manned air­craft sys­tem. The 2014-19 Mil­i­tary Plan­ning Act (LPM) pro­vides that the air force will have by 2019 four com­plete sys­tems, each com­pris­ing three un­manned air­craft. The or­der of this fourth sys­tem of Reaper drones thus al­lows the min­istry to meet the ob­jec­tives of this Act. De­liv­ery will take place in 2019.

The sec­ond sys­tem has been ap­proved by the DGA. Two drones were de­liv­ered on De­cem­ber 31 in Ni­amey. The third drone will soon ar­rive at Cognac air­base, where it will be used in par­tic­u­lar for the train­ing of per­son­nel of the 1/33 Belfort squadron which op­er­ates France’s MALE drones.

On ar­rival, the French Air Force and the DGA will con­duct a test cam­paign to val­i­date the Reaper sys­tem’s air-trans­porta­bil­ity on­board French trans­port air­craft, mainly the A400M, as well as tech­ni­cal con­di­tions for its op­er­a­tion in the elec­tro­mag­netic en­vi­ron­ment of Cognac air­base, and more gen­er­ally the ter­ri­tory of metropoli­tan France.

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