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The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has selected the Spy’Ranger mini surveillance and reconnaissance UAV to equip the French forces.

Up to 70 mini-UAV reconnaissance systems (SMDR) will be made available from 2018. Each system consists of three mini-UAVs, a ground segment and the associated technical support.

The Spy’Ranger, manufactured by Thales, is able to be operated in a standalone mode or connected to a C4I system. The Spy’Ranger is specifically tailored to the needs of the armed forces, as well as to those of essential operators, according to Thales’s website.

Starting in 2018, Thales will provide French forces up to 210 mini reconnaissance UAVs.

The Armed forces require real-time access to ever more reliable imagery. Spy’Ranger will provide them with a decisive tactical advantage by offering the capacity to observe day or night, for long periods of time and at a distance of up to 30 km.

Spy’Ranger is used in particular to provide support to a combined arms tactical group maneuver or to an offensive reconnaissance mission; provide a cover mechanism, support the neutralisation of strong points and contribute to firing maneuvers by providing a “remote airborne eye” able to adjust shooting rounds on a target.

Developed by Thales in cooperation with French SMEs Aviation Design and Merio, Spy’Ranger will offer French Forces a number of innovations that provide real capability gains, thus contributing to its capacities in the gathering of frontline intelligence and to the protection of forces in operation.

Transportable in a backpack, Spy’Ranger can perform observation missions over a period of 2 hours 30 minutes, covering a range of 30 km: a much larger surveillance area than those covered by systems currently in service, according to Thales.

Its gyrostabilized multi-sensor optronic payload has the highest resolution in the world for this range of platform.

Its tactical data link, protected to the highest standard, offers high speeds allowing the transmission of  high-definition image streams.

The command and control software (C2) provides an effective user interface. A mobile and digital support management system enables efficient execution and piloting of the Through Life Support’s.

The Spy’RangerFully is fully adapted to frontline air-land intelligence missions in battlefields in hostile environments (climate, electromagnetic, physical, etc.).