First French light reconnaissance aircraft to be operational in 2021

by Emmanuel Huberdeau

The French Air and Space Force’s first light surveillance and intelligence aircraft, ‘Avion Léger de Surveillance et de Reconnaissance’ (ALSR), is currently undergoing flight trials and testing ahead of its entry into service in 2021.

The first of eight Thales-Sabena Technics King Air 350 Extend Range (ER) ISR aircraft for France will enter service in 2021. (Janes/Emmanuel Huberdeau)

The first of eight Thales-Sabena Technics King Air 350 Extend Range (ER) ISR aircraft for France will enter service in 2021. (Janes/Emmanuel Huberdeau)

The first of eight Vecteur Aéroporté de Designation, D’Observation et de Reconnaissance (VADOR) ALSR aircraft was delivered to the air force on 6 August. Thales and Sabena Technics have modified the Beechcraft King Air 350 Extend Range (ER) platform for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

The VADOR is equipped with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) electro-optical turret and an unspecified signals intelligence (SIGINT) payload, both placed in a cupola under the belly of the aircraft. The electromagnetic sensor is used for the interception of radio and mobile phone signals.

The FLIR is equipped with a laser designator capable of leading laser-guided weapons to a target. From 2023, a synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator (SAR/GMTI) sensor will be integrated. The crew is made up of five personnel – two pilots, a tactical co-ordinator, and two sensor operators. An extra passenger can be embarked for observation. The ER version of the King Air 350 has an average endurance of five hours on station.

The VADOR is equipped with a satellite communication (satcom) system and standard and encrypted VHF radios. Thales also developed a deployable ground station designed for mission preparation, mission co-ordination, and post-mission data processing. The ground station can have live access to the data gathered in flight by the VADOR aircraft, including a live video feed.

Already a Janes subscriber? Read the full article via the Client Login
Interested in subscribing, see What we do

Share

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/first-french-light-reconnaissance-aircraft-to-be-operational-in-2021

The French Air and Space Force’s first light surveillance and intelligence aircraft, ‘Avion Léger de...

Associated services

Related news

Loading animation

Request a free consultation to find out how in a world of fake news and ever growing conflict, Janes can provide you with unbiased, verified open-source intelligence.

Details