The French Army has received the last of three new-generation interim tactical UAV system (SDTI) unmanned aerial vehicles from the directorate general of armaments (DGA).

The SDTI features optical and infrared cameras for day and night operations, which collect images and information in real time and send the information to ground-control terminals operated by the ground troops.

The new generation SDTI weighs 350kg and can be launched from a trailer-mounted catapult, and retrieved after a parachute.

The system can be operated for several hours at a distance of about 100 miles from its deployment site.

All three new aircraft have been fitted with lightweight wings to increase their range and loiter times specifically in hot and high conditions.

The French Army’s 61st Field Artillery Regiment, based at Chaumont, will use the three unmanned aircraft for intelligence gathering, target acquisition and force protection.

The €5m ($6.7m) purchase agreement also includes an initial support package of spares and technical documentation.