Sat, Sep 16, 2006
France Tests Its First UAV
France test flew its new Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE)
surveillance UAV for 1.5 hours around Istres, an air base in the
southern part of the country, on September 12th.
The MALE, or as the French call it, Systeme Interimaire de Drone
MALE (SIDM), is a joint European Aeronautic Defense & Space
(EADS) and Israel Aircraft Industry (IAI) product.
In a release, France's head of Defence & Security Systems
Herve Guillou said, "The first flight of the SIDM in France is a
great success for our highly-qualified project team and another
convincing proof of our capabilities in the area of UAV
Miki Bar, Corporate Vice President & General Manager of the
Military Aircraft Group of IAI, said, “The first flight
demonstrates the successful collaboration between EADS and IAI
which combined new technologies and leading capabilities in the
MALE UAV system."
The MALE, or SIDM if you're French, is designed to conduct day
and night reconaisance and intelligence gathering missions,
including target acquisition, over a range of approx 700 nm. It's
billed as an all-weather-capable aircraft utilizing an anti-icing
IAI claims installed equipment includes multi-spectrum sensors,
line-of-sight data link technology and full satellite communication
The first successful test flight demonstrated the integrity of
the UAV's systems. With 12 more test flights scheduled, the craft
is slated to enter service with the French Air Force in 2007.
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