Drones news

France orders third Reaper system

France orders third Reaper system
France orders third Reaper system. France has ordered third General Atomics
<p><strong>France has ordered the third General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper unmanned air system</strong> to bolster its growing fleet of the type, which is operating in the Sahel-Saharan strip in Africa.</p> <p>Ordered through the USA&rsquo;s Foreign Military Sales programme, the third system &ndash; consisting of three aircraft &ndash; will be delivered in 2019, following the transfer of the second system during 2016.</p> <p>An initial urgent order for two unarmed Reapers was made in June 2013, and in August that year a letter of offer and acceptance for 16 Reapers and eight ground control stations worth some $1.5 billion was agreed by the Pentagon. The first Reaper system entered service in December 2013, followed by its deployment to Africa in January 2014.</p> <p>France&#39;s DGA defence procurement agency says that planning for the 2014-2019 period will see the provision of four systems, totalling an expected 12 aircraft.</p> <p><img alt="Asset Image" src="https://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getasset.aspx?itemid=62681" style="margin:0px" /></p> <p>US Air Force</p> <p>France&#39;s Reapers are replacing the Airbus Defence &amp; Space/Israel Aerospace Industries Harfang UAV that the nation has operated in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali.</p> <p>Paris also is participating in a pan-European effort to develop a medium-altitude, long endurance UAV, alongside Germany and Italy. In May 2015, the three governments signed a declaration of intent to carry out a definition study on the future platform, which had been lobbied for by Dassault Aviation, Airbus Defence &amp; Space and Finmeccanica.</p>