French Army to procure Sagem’s Patroller tactical UAV

World Defense & Security News - France
French Army to procure Sagem’s Patroller tactical UAV
Sagem will provide the French Army with its new tactical UAV. After the agreement signed with DGA and witnessed by the Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Army will receive Patroller unmanned air vehicles, to replace the Sperwer, from 2018 and onwards.
French Army to procure Sagem Patroller tactical UAV 640 001Sagem's Patroller tactical UAV
(Credit: Sagem)
According to the 2014-19 period defence budget and procurement plan, the French Army will receive 14 air vehicles. They will assume the tactical reconnaissance role from the legacy Sperwer, which operate with the 61st Artillery Regiment as part of the Intelligence Brigade.

The procurement of the new tactical UAVs was the result of rigorous testing at the French Air Force Istres Air Base, during July 2015. The systems showcased their full operational and technical capabilities.

Sagem Patroller is an unmanned aerial system, which provides real-time ISTAR capabilities, in a variety of missions, such as battlefield and border surveillance, target surveillance, acquisition and targeting or artillery guidance, in humanitarian, combat or environmental protection missions.

The air vehicles have autonomy of 20 hours. They are capable of flying with speeds between 100 and 200 km/h, at a height of 20,000 feet and at a range of 180 km (extendable at 500 km). Each vehicle can carry a payload of up to 250 kg, which includes a combination of optronics, radar and SIGINT devices, either installed in the airframe or in pods.

Sagem is the prime contractor and the leader of the Patroller Cluster, a consortium of 25 French companies in the technological sector. The French Ministry of Defence has stated that the Patroller programme will create 300 highly qualified jobs in the country, while enhancing the company’s partnership with the German company Ecarys, which is the supplier of the ES-15 airframe.

Safran Chief Executive Officer Philippe Petitcolin congratulated the company for this success, stating: "Building on Sagem's 25 years of experience in making tactical drones, the selection of the Patroller confirms French industry's leading position in the European surveillance drone market. Our teams are ready to meet this challenge, and they will be worthy of the trust placed in us by the country."

Martin Sion, CEO of Sagem, added: "The French Ministry of Defense's choice of the Patroller certifies its performance and quality, giving Sagem a major advantage in seizing export opportunities for surveillance drones. Several countries have already expressed their interest in the Patroller, especially in Asia and the Middle East."