Germany to arm UAVs

by Gareth Jennings

Germany is to arm the Heron TP MALE UAVs that are operated from Israel, the Bundeswehr announced. (IAI)

Germany is to arm its medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a move intended for “improving the protection of soldiers on deployments abroad”, the Bundeswehr announced.

The decision to weaponise the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron TP MALE UAVs that Germany leases through Airbus Defence and Space brings to a head more than a decade of deliberations in Berlin on the subject of arming its current and future unmanned aircraft.

“The Budget Committee of the Bundestag approved the armament of the Heron TP today,” the Bundeswehr said on 6 April. “A total of around EUR150 million [USD163.53 million] [is] earmarked for armament, training, and maintenance. In this way, we are improving the protection of soldiers on deployments abroad,” it added.


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Development of RASH-2H glide munition approaches completion

by Huw Williams

The RASH-2H (left) is a clean-sheet design, while the RASH-2M (middle) and RASH-1M (right) use modified mortar bombs. (EDGE Group)

Abu Dhabi-based ADASI is in the “final stages of development and qualification” of its RASH-2H guided munition.

Speaking during a media briefing, Mohamed Al Nuaimi, senior programme manager, engineering and technology at ADASI, said that the RASH-2H will soon enter production.

Al Nuaimi said that the munition is a clean-sheet design, while the earlier RASH-1M and RASH-2M add a guidance kit to mortar bombs that also feature modified fuzes to enable their air-launched profile.

According to company data, the RASH-2H is fitted with an 11.6 kg high-explosive fragmentation warhead that is made up of 10,700 fragments and has a lethal radius of up to 60 m. Like the RASH-1M and RASH-2M, the newest member of the family utilises global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation system (INS) guidance. However, it can also undertake a cursor-on-target engagement via an optional electro-optic/infrared payload in the nose of the munition that uses an ultra-high frequency (UHF) datalink. Al Nuaimi said that a semi-active laser (SAL) seeker is on the product road map for the RASH-2H.


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France to receive long-awaited Patroller UAVs

by Victor Barreira

The first Patroller UAVs are to be delivered to the DGA shortly. (Safran)

The Tactical Drone System (Système de Drone Tactique: SDT) for the French Army is soon to achieve a major milestone with delivery of the first Safran Electronics & Defense Patroller fixed-wing tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the French defence procurement agency (Direction générale de l'armement: DGA).

An initial five UAVs and two ground control stations will be delivered to the DGA in December, the company's press officer, Pascal Debergé, told Janes.

The company was awarded a EUR350 million (USD343 million) contract on 5 April 2016 to supply 14 Patroller UAVs, six ground control stations, and associated training and support to increase the intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability of the 61st Artillery Regiment, replacing the Safran Sperwer UAV.

The Patroller is a medium-altitude, long-endurance platform based on the Stemme ECARYS ES15 utility aircraft that can operate for up to 15 hours at an altitude of 16,000 ft, with a line-of-sight range of 180 km and a maximum speed of 200 km/h.


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French Navy boosts ISTAR with Aliaca UAV

by Victor Barreira

Survey Copter, which is owned by Airbus Defence and Space, is developing an improved version of the Aliaca with increased range and autonomy. (Victor Barreira)

The French Navy is boosting its ability to conduct airborne day-and-night intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions from surface ships thanks to the Survey Copter Aliaca fixed-wing tactical mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The electrically powered UAV was deployed from the PHM Commandant Ducuing (F795) patrol ship during NATO's maritime unmanned systems exercise ‘Dynamic Messenger 22' that took place in Portugal in late September.

In all, 22 UAVs, ground control stations, training, and a 10-year support package were purchased in the last quarter of 2020 by the French defence procurement agency (Direction générale de l'armement: DGA) for EUR19.7 million (USD19.5 million) to meet the requirements of the Système de Mini Drones aériens embarqués de la Marine (SMDM) programme.

Each SMDM system is made of two UAVs. The initial three systems were received in June, with deliveries to be complete at the beginning of 2023.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/germany-to-arm-uavs

Germany is to arm its medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a mov...

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