France officially undecided on UAV selection

Washington DC
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This story is sourced from Flight International
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France remains in talks with both the United States and Israel over the purchase of large unmanned air vehicles (UAV).

Despite reports that a selection has been made, France officially remains in discussions with both the US and Israel for replacement of its leased Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron UAVs. The replacements, either another batch of Herons or the General Atomics - Aeronautical Systems International (GA-ASI) Predator, are eagerly anticipated by the nation for its ongoing military operations in Mali.

"There is no clear decision regarding the drone which will be bought by French Armed Forces. We will have no confirmation regarding the fact that it could be a Predator or not," says the French Ministry of Defense. "For now, the official speech is about if it will be from United States or Israel."

Despite unconfirmed reports that France selected the Predator, the contest remains officially open.

Neither the US government nor General Atomics responded to immediate questions.