February 11, 2020 (Google Translation) – The General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) has ordered mini aerial drones from the Survey Copter company for the French Navy.
Called system of airborne mini-drones on board for the Navy (SMDM), these contact drones will equip patrol vessels and frigates.
This order, for an amount of 19.7 million euros, includes the acquisition of the systems and their set of spare parts.
These drones, weighing around 16 kilos, propelled by an electric motor, have a range of 3 hours and a range of 50 kilometers. They are launched by catapult and are automatically collected on board in a net at the end of the flight. Their on-board sensors retransmit in real time during the flight, day and night, the images and data collected. An evaluation campaign was carried out in 2019 by the French Navy.
The SMDM will be used to enrich the understanding of the tactical situation from various vessels such as high seas patrol vessels, surveillance frigates, La Fayette-type frigates as well as future overseas patrol vessels.
Deliveries to the French Navy are scheduled between 2021 and 2023.