Sagem has been awarded a contract for delivery of additional Sperwer tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV) systems to the French defence procurement agency (DGA).
Under the contract, the company will supply a total of five Sperwer systems, including two on option, for use by the French Army.
The TUAVs will feature optronic sensors manufactured by the company's Dijon and Poitiers plants, and printed circuit boards by its Fougeres facility, while the Montluon plant will be responsible for production of flight control and navigation systems, and integration of the drones.
In addition, a number of other French companies are expected to supply sub-assemblies for the systems.
The solid industrial network will facilitate provision of ongoing support for the French Sperwer systems up to and beyond 2017, according to the company.
Known in the French Army as Système de Drone Tactique Intermédiaire (SDTI), the Sperwer is a military intelligence delta wing aircraft designed to support intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) operations.
The remotely piloted drones were used by the French Army's 61st Artillery Regiment to perform missions, such as protection, intelligence and ground support missions in theatre from November 2008 to June 2012.
In addition, the tactical drone system was successfully deployed by Nato three members, including Canada, France, and the Netherlands in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2012.
Sagem has to date produced more than 25 complete Sperwer tactical drone systems, which are also in use with the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), Swedish Air Force, Hellenic Army, as well as the US Air National Guard (ANG).
Deliveries under the contract, whose value remains undisclosed, are scheduled to take place in 2015.
Image: a Sperwer tactical drone sitting on its launch rail. Photo: copyright of David Monniaux.