This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
More upgrades are expected for the payloads carried by its EADS/ IAI Harfang unmanned air systems (UAS).
The French Air Force is currently operating six Harfang UAS based on the Israel aerospace industries (IAI) Heron.
There are no details about the new payloads , but some IAI subsidiaries have developed different system that are being used by the Heron UAS operated by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) .
The Harfang is a Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) UAS. It features a centralized fuselage section containing avionics, mission payload, engine and fuel.
The Harfang’s was first used in 2007 where it played a major role in providing security for the Pope’s visit to France. Later it was deployed to the Afghanistan Theater in support of the French commitment.
Harfangs were used during the 2011 Libyan Civil War and then over Mali against Islamic radicals.
At this stage the France is still evaluating the armed General Atomics MQ-9 “Reaper”. A procurement programme will depend on the extent of knowhow transfer the Americans will be ready to approve.
IAI has offered its Heron TP to France, The evaluation was frozen as a result of a combination of budget and political reasons. IAI has offered the Heron TP in cooperation with Dassault. If this UAS is selected it will be manufactured in France.