Matra BAe Dynamics has revealed its Eagle high altitude, long endurance unmanned air vehicle (UAV), a programme for the French Ministry of Defence which was secret until the show. The 20m (65ft)-span demonstrator first flew last October when it underwent trials, operating 4,000km (2,160nm) from its base, from where it was controlled by satellite links. The piston engine limits Eagle to 20,000ft, but will be replaced by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop allowing it to operate at up to 45,000ft. In standard configuration the Eagle has a television and infrared day/night electro-optic sensor and a radio communications relay. Optional loads include a Matra-Marconi Space-developed Quasar synthetic aperture radar and communications and signals intelligence systems.

Source: Flight International