A model of the Airbus SIRTAP UAS, displayed in Paris at Eurosatory 2022. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)
Spain has acquired the Airbus SIRTAP unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the manufacturer announced on 29 November.
The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contracted nine systems comprising a total of 27 air vehicles and nine ground control stations. Two simulators have also been acquired.
“Airbus has signed a contract with the Spanish Ministry of Defence for the development and acquisition of SIRTAP, a high-performance tactical UAS that will reinforce the tactical capabilities of the Spanish Army and the Air and Space Force,” Airbus said. The MoD said that the contract value was “close to” EUR495 million (USD543 million).
Having originally launched SIRTAP with Colombia, this contract with Spain now formally kick-starts Airbus' development of the UAS that is being billed as sitting midway between the light tactical and medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) classes.
“This new technological milestone in the tactical UAS segment together with the Spanish Ministry of Defence will reinforce national sovereignty. SIRTAP will be fully developed in Spain, integrating national capabilities. However, thanks to its versatility and the use of ITAR [International Traffic in Arms Regulations]-free components, we also expect it to play a key role on the international market,” Jean-Brice Dumont, head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space, was quoted as saying.
With a maximum take-off weight of 700 kg and a 150 kg payload capability, the SIRTAP is intended to be equipped with both a multimission radar (enabling over land and maritime roles) and an electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret. Company specifications give the unmanned aircraft a range of more than 2,000 km and an endurance of over 20 hours.