The French Navy has placed an order with the Airbus Defense subsidiary Survey Copter, for more ‘Aliaca’ light tactical surveillance drones.
Survey Copter and French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) signed an agreement for the Airbus company to supply 15 onboard systems (30 aircraft) of the fixed-wing electric unmanned aerial systems (UAS), plus associated training and integrated logistics support.
The order is part of the SMDM contract signed between the two parties for the initial supply of 11 systems (22 aircraft) to equip French Navy vessels such as high seas patrol boats and surveillance frigates.
“We are very honored to participate in the French government’s action at sea, and to continue supporting the French Navy in its many missions. This additional order confirms the relationship of trust we have with the DGA and the French Navy, and the quality, efficiency and reliability of our drones systems at sea,” Christophe Canguilhem, CEO of Survey Copter, said.
The current Aliaca drones operating are used to reinforce airborne surveillance, detection and identification capabilities.
“Embedded, the system can carry out various types of missions around ships, such as tactical situation awareness, combating illegal activities at sea, traffic surveillance, pollution detection, monitoring suspicious behavior in the vicinity of the ship, and coastal surveillance,” Survey Copter said.
Aliaca drones weigh 16 kg and can operate for around three hours. The system is launched with a catapult attached to a vessel and automatically caught in a net when it returns.