The French Navy will make Flottille 36F, based at Hyères, near Toulon, its first shipborne unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadron.
The move will see Flottille 36F operate the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter UAVs, which will be deployed onboard the navy’s Mistral-class landing helicopter dock ships. The squadron currently operates the AS565SA Panther helicopter.
The decision to form a dedicated UAV parent squadron reflects the French Navy’s desire to concentrate unmanned aviation expertise into a single specialised entity. Previous internal studies had explored a number of options, ranging from the creation of a brand new dedicated UAV unit to the formation of flights within Flottilles 31F, 35F, or 36F (all of which are based in Hyères).
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