French companies Sagem and Défense Conseil International (DCI) have agreed to team to offer manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft to domestic and international markets.
The manned surveillance element will use the Diamond Aircraft DA42 twin engine light aircraft equipped with Sagem’s Euroflir 350 or 410 multi-sensor gyro-stabilised optronic pod, and DCI will contribute its experience in services, training and customer assistance, the companies say.
The DA42 offers a cruise speed in excess of 300 km/h and an endurance of 6 - 10 hours, and DCI has fit it with an optronic payload, maritime surveillance radar, data transmission system and data post-processing system for the surveillance mission.
The Euroflir family of sensors, meanwhile, have primarily been used in operations by helicopters deployed by the French navy, army and special forces.
Sagem will focus on the surveillance and intelligence unmanned air vehicle market using its Patroller system, alongside the operational support of DCI for contract proposals regarding system operation and maintenance for both government forces and the private sector. The Patroller UAV uses the Euroflir 410 system.
The remotely piloted aircraft system demonstrated in 2014 its ability to fly in civilian airspace when it completed an 11-day flight test campaign.
As part of the Operational Demonstration of RPAS in European Airspace project, 20 tests were carried out between 26 October and 7 November near Toulouse, France, during which a sense-and-avoid system developed by Sagem and integrated onto the Patroller was utilised to test its collision avoidance capability.