The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has selected Thales’ latest-generation Spy’Ranger mini surveillance and reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to equip the French forces. Up to 70 mini-UAV reconnaissance systems (SMDR) will be made available. Each system consists of three mini-UAVs, a ground segment and the associated technical support.
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 carry out the following missions: 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 in under 13 months, Spy’Ranger will offer French Forces a number of innovations that provide real capability gains. Spy’Ranger will therefore markedly contribute to the gathering of frontline intelligence and to the protection of forces in operation,” said Jean-Pascal Arrou-Vignod, Thales VP in charge of Optronics business.
The Spy’Ranger, developed by Thales in collaboration with several French SMEs, is a mini-UAV designed and manufactured in France. Spy’Ranger features include:
- 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
- Its gyrostabilized multi-sensor optronic payload has what Thales claims is the highest resolution in the world for this range of platform, facilitating the positive identification of zones or objects over which it has flown
- Its tactical data link, protected to the highest standard, offers high speeds allowing the transmission of a high-definition image streams
- Its command and control software (C2) provides an effective user interface
- A mobile and digital support management system, based on Thales’s Smartfleet solution, that enables efficient execution and piloting of the Through Life Support
Fully adapted to frontline air-land intelligence missions in battlefields in hostile environments (climate, electromagnetic, physical, etc.), the Spy’Ranger has been designed to optimise life cycle costs.
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