Jan 19, 2014

French Air France Conducts First Reaper Flight

The French Air Force Thursday flew a first flight, lasting 40 minutes, of a US-built Reaper surveillance drone based in Niger.
That flight was dubbed Dress Down Six, the flight name used by World War II French pilot and author Antoine Saint-Exupery.
The flight was in a local zone and it was still in the preparation phase of the first operational flight.
France has options to buy 10 additional Reaper units, which the government wants to modify to fit French or European payloads, including sensors and datalink transmission.
The two unarmed French Air Force Reapers, dubbed Block 1, use US equipment.
On the tactical UAV front, Sagem said Jan. 15 that France ordered at the end of December three more Sperwer drones and took options for two more units, to maintain the strength of the present four systems operated by the French Army. A Sagem spokesman declined to give financial details. The order follows acquisition of four units in 2013.

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