The Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire Español: EdAE) has said it is to acquire 15 of the new European medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) remotely piloted air systems (RPASs) being developed by a pan-European consortium.
Planned for entry into service in the mid-2020s, the MALE RPAS is a joint project between Germany (Airbus), France (Dassault), Italy (Leonardo), and Spain (Airbus).
An EdAE spokesperson confirmed the Spanish proposals on 7 November. While no timetable has yet been drawn up, the first aircraft are expected to arrive in Spain from 2026 onwards.
To avoid a capability gap while it waits for the new European MALE RPAS, the air force is to be equipped with the General Atomics Reaper MQ-9 Predator B. The first two are due to arrive in February 2019 with a second pair set for delivery in October 2019.
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