Sagem on Thursday said its Patroller long-endurance surveillance unmanned aircraft system (UAS) completed a series of flight tests in France.
The tests, which took place at the Istres air force base in southern France from Sept. 19 to Oct. 21, qualified the aircraft's in-flight performance, including automated landings at a steep glide slope; integrated a new data link for taxiing, and a new, higher-performance imaging chain for target identification; and qualified new flight control functions supporting degraded operating modes, as well as automated touchdowns in case of actuator or propulsion system failure.
Additionally, the redundant avionics suite also received authorization from French authorities to overfly densely populated zones in controlled airspace. The Patroller was also operated over the Mediterranean Sea to test operational maritime and coastal surveillance scenarios.
Sagem said it will be able to deliver a complete, fully operational Patroller system within 12 to 18 months.
Patroller is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAS in the 1-ton class, based on an EASA-certified aircraft. It capitalizes on technologies already developed by Sagem for the Sperwer Mk.II tactical drone, and field experience in Afghanistan. Patroller features a modular design, allowing it to carry different pod-mounted payloads, and offers flight endurance of 20 to more than 30 hours, at a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet.