Safran revealed at a pre-Le Bourget press brunch today that its new Sperwer UAV, the Sperwer Mk.II, is now ready for the market “and has been available to potential customers from this month”, said Jean-Paul Herteman, Safran's CEO.
Made by Sagem, a 100% subsidiary of Safran, the Sperwer Mk. II will have greater autonomy than the one currently being deployed in Afghanistan by NATO forces, has a more powerful catapult and a new, more compact ground station. This ERS-RVT (End Reception Stations and Remote Video Terminal) NATO interoperable ground station was recently field tested by the French army's 61st Artillery Regiment. It comprises a tactical terminal and a man-portable transmitter-receiver, providing real-time, high-resolution displays of geo-referenced images, along with a digital map.
Herteman said that the group's strength in UAVs was “the quality of its optronics” and added that “we are open to any type of partnership and think that there could be openings in the security field, notably border patrols and that type of thing.”
Jean-Lin Fournereaux, Sagem's CEO, told me that a contract would be signed during the air show in the framework of the European Defense Agency's Midcas program aimed at solving the critical sense and avoid issue in order to enable UAVs to operate in civilian airspace.