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Sagem has secured a contract to supply the Patroller unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the French Army’s tactical drone system programme.

Awarded by the French Defence procurement agency (DGA), the contract requires the company to provide 14 Patroller UAVs to replace the French Army’s Sperwer tactical drones in 2018.

Sagem CEO Martin Sion said: "The French Ministry of Defense’s choice of the Patroller certifies its performance and quality, giving Sagem a major advantage in seizing export opportunities for surveillance drones.

"Several countries have already expressed their interest in the Patroller, especially in Asia and the Middle East."

"Several countries have already expressed their interest in the Patroller, especially in Asia and the Middle East."

The deal will strengthen Sagem’s partnership with Germany’s Ecarys, which supplies the ES-15 airframe for the Patroller UAV.

The 1t Patroller meets long-endurance surveillance requirements for homeland and defence security forces, as well as inter-ministerial missions.

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By GlobalData

It features a modular design that enables pod-mounted integration of payloads for flights at a maximum altitude of 20,000ft.

Deployed by command units to support land operations, Patroller UAVs carries multi-sensor payloads to provide intelligence for front-line units.

The contract is expected to create about 300 qualified jobs in France.

Last year, Sagem received a contract to modernise the French Army’s AS532 Cougar helicopters’ Euroflir 350 optronic systems.

The contract covers the upgrade of 55 Euroflir systems, including those on the EC725 Caracal fleet deployed by France’s Special and Conventional Forces.