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The Cassidian Tracker mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has won the Austrian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) UAV competition. The system will be the Austrian military’s first UAV.

The Tracker UAV. Photo: Cassidian.
The Tracker UAV. Photo: Cassidian.

Although the Austrian MoD has reserved EUR18 million (USD25.1 million) for the acquisition of a UAV system, it will currently only purchase six Tracker systems for EUR3 million. Each system comprises three aircraft.

According to Jane’s Tracker was offered for the requirement by Austrian telecoms provider Kapsh Group, which is not noted for its involvement in the defence sector, with the French designed Tracker beating 10 other offerings. The first Trackers will be delivered within 2013, while Kapsh will also provide crew-training at the Allentsteig firing range.

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IHLS – Israel Homeland Security

As a result of not utilising the majority of the available budget for the buy, IHS Jane’s understands that the remaining EUR15 million allocation may later be spent on acquiring a larger UAV system.

Tracker has been in use with French forces since 2010, where it has previously been deployed to Austria as part of Exercise ‘European Advance 2010’.

The twin-engined, twin-boom-tail mine-UAV is equipped with an Elbit Systems ELOP imaging system and can be hand- or catapult-launched. It has a wingspan of 3.6m, weighs 8.5kg and has a 90min/6.5 mile mission radius.