TheFrench defence procurement agency
(DGA) has selectedThales
to conduct a further study for a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system.
The objective of this study programme is to define a VTOL UAV system to meet the tactical requirements of France’s Land Force General Staff (EMAT) and Naval High Command (EMM).
Thales teams will work with army and navy staff to analyse their operational requirements in preparation for functional definition of the system architecture. The study will investigate commonalities and opportunities for resource sharing between the two forces. It will also lay the foundations for the future SDT (Système de Drones Tactiques) tactical UAV system programme and SDAM (Système de Drones Aériens pour la Marine) naval UAV system programme.
Thales has proposed Boeing’s Unmanned Little Bird VTOL UAV as the platform for the study and subsequent demonstration phase, which will include deck-landing trials. The Unmanned Little Bird (ULB) is the remotely operated version of the MD 530F civilian helicopter and its military variant, the A/MH-6M Little Bird.