22/01/2021

Upgrades to French MQ-9s

Upgrades in sight for French MQ-9 Reaper UAVs – link

Source: Jane’s

Article Headlines
  • France is currently negotiating with the United States and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for future upgrades of its 12 MQ-9s
  • With the upgrade the aircraft will be able to fly up to 30 hours – up from 24 hours – for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, while endurance in the armed configuration will increase to 24 hours from 17 hours
  • Negotiations are also being conducted by the French procurement agency Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) with the US Air Force (USAF) to equip the air vehicles with a signal intelligence (SIGINT) pod. France has opted for an off-the-shelf US-made pod and is also considering development of an indigenous system
  • France is also set to receive a new full mission simulator developed by Canadian company CAE that will be based in Cognac to train UAV crews
  • GA-ASI has made a separate offer to France for a self-defence pod for the air vehicles. This is equipped with a jamming system and flare launchers designed to increase the MQ-9’s survivability in contested environments
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