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Eurosatory 2022: Airbus waiting on Spain to launch SIRTAP UAS development

A 1/10 model of the SIRTAP unmanned aircraft was displayed at the Eurosatory 2022 event in Paris. Having launched the project with Colombia, Airbus expects Spain to join to formally launch development. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Airbus expects the Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) to shortly approve its involvement in the SIRTAP unmanned aircraft system (UAS) project that the company originally launched with Colombia, a programme official told Janes on 13 June.

Speaking at the Eurosatory 2022 event in Paris, Fernando Ciria, head of marketing airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), said that a decision from Spain is expected within the next 12 months, formally kick-starting development of the SIRTAP UAS that is being billed as sitting midway between the light tactical and medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) classes.

β€œWe are thinking to launch the project with Colombia, and Spain has shown its interest also,” Ciria said. β€œWe need more than one [national] commitment, and a Spanish decision is anticipated in about a year.”

Originally named Atlante II, the new SIRTAP moniker is a Spanish acronym that loosely translates as Integrated System for High-Performance Unmanned Air System. While development was launched with Colombia in 2018, Ciria said that it has been the recent experience of the Turkish-built Baykar Bayraktar TB2 UAS in Ukraine that has really shown the value of this class of unmanned aircraft in the marketplace.

β€œIt is clear that the Bayraktar has shown the relevance of the sector of midway between the light tactical and MALE unmanned aircraft that can be armed and have a maximum endurance of up to about 20 hours,” Ciria noted.

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