[EUROSATORY] Safran offers modified Fly Eye for French Army

Discussion in 'French Defence Forum' started by Vergennes, Jun 16, 2016.

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  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

    Oct 10, 2015
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    Fly Eye will provide close range ISR for French Army units. Source: IHS/Huw Williams

    Safran is partnering with Poland's WB Electronics to meet a French army requirement for a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

    Speaking to IHS Jane's at Eurosatory 2016, a Safran representative said that the company had decided to team with WB Electronics to offer the latter's Fly Eye UAV, as Safran does not currently have its own system in this class.

    The representative said that a key performance characteristic for Safran is the ability for the Fly Eye to be hand-launched, rather than requiring the assistance of a catapult or bungee system, for example.

    The focus of Safran's modifications to the system is the introduction of a more advanced payload, which comes in the form of a gimballed electro-optical/infrared unit that also incorporates a laser pointer.

    In the configuration put forward by Safran, the electrically powered Fly Eye has a maximum take-off weight of 11 kg - including a 4 kg payload capacity - an endurance of 3 hours, and can be controlled out to 30 km via line-of-sight communications.

    The system has a novel landing profile, whereby the belly-mounted payload and batteries are parachuted from the aircraft before it enters an automated skid-landing process that is intended to bring the aircraft to a point near the payload. This approach is designed to prevent damage to the payload when the aircraft is retrieved.

    A demonstration with the army was held in March/April of this year where a total of six competitors took part, the representative said, adding that the Fly Eye successfully met all of the operating requirements that were set out.

    The programme is currently at the best and final offer stage and a decision on the successful platform is expected this summer.

    The selected platform will equip the same French Army battalion that is set to receive the Patroller tactical UAV, which has been developed by Safran's Sagem unit.

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