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EADS DS Delivers 2nd Batch Of DRAC UAVs To French MoD

Aircraft Enhances Capabilities In Mountainous Terrain

Late last month, EADS Defence & Security delivered 35 specially modified new unmanned air vehicle (UAV) DRAC systems to the French Army to enhance its capabilities in mountainous terrain, the company said Thursday. This delivery took place at the end of a series of ground-based and in-flight verification operations launched in November 2009 and carried out together with the French defence procurement agency DGA (Direction Generale de l'Armement). The new batch follows a first batch of 25 DRAC systems delivered to the Ministry of Defence in July 2008.

The systems delivered this year will contribute to the safety of French troops deployed in very hostile theaters of operation and will improve the efficiency of their missions.

As far as its design is concerned, the DRAC system combines highly advanced technology with flexibility in its implementation and use, providing the forces with enhanced military capabilities in its function as a short-range, cost-efficient drone adapted to the requirements of modern armies.

DRAC is based on the TRACKER system developed by EADS in collaboration with the French SME SurveyCopter in compliance with extremely strict specifications laid down by the French customer. SurveyCopter is supplying the aerial vehicle and the daytime and night-time cameras. EADS, as prime contractor, is integrating the system with a special ground station and a secure, high-speed, digital datalink with an automatic tracking function, which gives the system a genuine long-range capability even in severe weather conditions. DRAC's high level of security will make it eligible for type certification as of this year.

The DRAC system is very practically packaged in two separate rucksacks so that missions can be carried out fully autonomously.

The DRAC can operate by day or night for up to 90 minutes and at distances of more than 10 km from its user, transmitting in real time the images and data it has gathered through the precision of a miniaturized GPS code P(Y) receiver on board the UAV.

FMI: www.eads.com

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