French Navy Orders Additional Airbus Maritime Drones

As
part
of
the
SMDM
contract
(“Systèmes
de
Mini
Drones
aériens
embarqués
de
la
Marine”),

Survey
Copter
,
an
SME
and
Airbus
Defence
and
Space
subsidiary
and
a
supplier
of
light
tactical
unmanned
aerial
systems 
has
signed
an
additional
firm
order
with
the
French
Defence
Procurement
Agency
(DGA)
to
supply
the
French
Navy
with
15
onboard
systems
(30
aircraft)
of
Aliaca
fixed-wing
electric
UAS,
plus
associated
training
and
integrated
logistics
support.

These
new
systems
will
be
delivered
from
2024
onwards,
and
will
be
used
to
equip
new
ships
and
ship
types,
and
to
enhance
their
onboard
capabilities.

This
additional
order
is
part
of
the
SMDM
contract
signed
in
2020
with
the
DGA,
which
covered
the
initial
supply
of
11
systems
(22
aircraft),
associated
training
and
integrated
logistical
support,
intended
to
equip
a
first
typology
of
vessels
such
as
the
high
seas
patrol
boats
(PHM),
the
new
overseas
patrol
boats
(POM)
and
the
surveillance
frigates
(FS).

“We
are
very
honoured
to
participate
in
the
French
government’s
action
at
sea,
and
to
continue
supporting
the
French
Navy
in
its
many
missions.
This
additional
order
confirms
the
relationship
of
trust
we
have
with
the
DGA
and
the
French
Navy,
and
the
quality,
efficiency
and
reliability
of
our
drones
systems
at
sea,”

says
Christophe
Canguilhem,
CEO
of
Survey
Copter.

Certified
and
qualified
by
the
DGA,
and
operational
since
2022
as
the
French
Navy’s
“remote
field
glasses”,
SMDM
currently
integrates
and
equips
PHM,
POM
and
FS
to
reinforce
airborne
surveillance,
detection
and
identification
capabilities.
Embedded,
the
system
can
carry
out
various
types
of
missions
around
ships,
such
as
tactical
situation
awareness,
combating
illegal
activities
at
sea,
traffic
surveillance,
pollution
detection,
monitoring
suspicious
behavior
in
the
vicinity
of
the
ship,
and
coastal
surveillance.

Since
2022,
the
SMDM
has
been
deployed
and
operated
in
a
number
of
successful
missions
and
exercises.
It
has
been
deployed
as
part
of
the
Corymbe
mission
in
the
Gulf
of
Guinea,
in
the
fight
against
piracy
and
illicit
trafficking;
as
part
of
the
European
Union’s
EUNAVFORMED
“IRINI”
operation,
a
mission
to
monitor
the
United
Nations
embargo
on
arms
imports
to
Libya;
and
in
the
Pacific
to
respond
to
threats
to
local
communities,
particularly
in
the
fight
against
illegal
fishing
and
trafficking.

Since
September
4,
2023,
the
SMDM
system
has
also
been
used
in
a
coastal
configuration
to
support
search
and
rescue
operations
in
the
English
Channel,
led
by
the
Gris-Nez
(Nord-Pas-de-Calais)
regional
surveillance
and
rescue
center
(CROSS).

The
experience
acquired
and
the
success
of
the
SMDM
in
these
different
missions,
thanks
to
its
small
logistical
footprint,
ease
of
use
and
discretion,
led
the
DGA
and
the
French
Navy
to
order
15
additional
systems
to
reinforce
the
State’s
action
at
sea
and
extend
its
scope
of
intervention.




About
Survey
Copter



Based
in
the
Drôme
region
of
France,
Survey
Copter
has
been
an
expert
in
light
tactical
UAS
since
1996.
An
Airbus
subsidiary
since
2011,
the
company
offers
a
wide
range
of
products
perfectly
suited
to
ISR,
protection
or
surveillance
missions,
for
both
military
and
civilian
purposes.
In
2023,
the
company’s
turnover
was
€10
million.
Survey
Copter
draws
on
a
wide
range
of
skills,
such
as
the
development
of
systems
for
airborne
platforms,
ground
stations,
autopilots,
EO/IR
payloads,
expertise
in
data
transmission,
encryption
and
RVT
(Remote
Video
Terminal),
and
offers
a
range
of
services
including
spare
parts,
training
and
operational
maintenance.
This
know-how,
demonstrated
through
the
certification
of
its
systems,
enables
Survey
Copter
to
offer
its
customers
safe,
innovative
UAS
that
meet
their
various
needs
and
constraints.

Source:
Press
Release