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Spy’Ranger family growth reflects appetite for unmanned ISR

2nd July 2021 - 10:00 GMT | by Jean-Marc Tanguy in Paris

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Spy’Ball (foreground of picture) was developed by French SME Merio but it is now produced by Thales. (Photo: Jean-Marc Tanguy)

A new optronic ball will fly by the end of the year, and Thales is considering other sensors for Spy’Ranger.

For the time being, the French Army is the only operator of the Spy’Ranger 330 UAS but its big brother, the Spy’Ranger 550, already has an undisclosed export launch customer.

The aircraft was presented at the SOFINS trade show in Bordeaux on 29 June-1 July, indicating that Thales intends to sell it to special forces.

The 5.2m-wingspan Spy Ranger 550 offers mission endurance of 5h and an operational range of 50km. Data from Thales shows that 20 of the UAVs have already been ordered.

Pascal Secretin, product line director for imagers and sensors at Thales Air Systems, claimed ‘we had

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