EADS Defence & Security supports French Air Force in SIDM UAV deployment to Afghanistan
EADS Defence & Security plays a decisive role in the deployment of the SIDM UAV of the French Air Force to Afghanistan. SIDM, the "Système de Drone MALE" or medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, was officially taken over by the French customer from the DS Business Unit Military Air Systems in end January 2009.
The French Air Force has accumulated some 200 flight hours whilst training their SIDM operators and ground staff at Mont-de-Marsan Air Base. Due to customer satisfaction and system confidence, the French Ministry of Defence decided to deploy SIDM systems to Afghanistan in support of the ISAF troops.
The airlift of the SIDM systems (three aerial vehicles with their ground segment) to Bagram is currently under way. In addition, EADS DS will provide logistics support with an ancillary base on constant alert, and with voluntary personnel in the area.
"We are proud and privileged to strengthen the French ISAF engagement with SIDM, which we delivered to the customer last year as prime contractor and system integrator", said Hervé Guillou, CEO of EADS Defence & Security in France. "The presence of SIDM in this theatre not only gives the French forces abroad and their allies the required and desired long-endurance, medium-altitude surveillance capacities, but also underpins our expertise in complex, efficient UAV systems to the customer", Guillou concluded.
"SIDM is an autonomous system with an almost around-the-clock endurance, a range of approximately 1,000 kilometres and a very effective sensor suite consisting of electro-optical and infrared, laser designator and an synthetic-aperture imaging radar with ground moving target indicator", explained Nicolas Chamussy, Senior Vice President for Mission Air Systems in the DS business unit MAS.
"This powerful mission equipment, in combination with real-time, secure line-of-sight and satellite data transmission, will dramatically increase the protection of French and ISAF units against ground threats."
"SIDM and the experience gained from this system will pave the way for the French-German-Spanish Advanced UAV, which will represent the new generation of sophisticated and efficient European UAVs for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions", said Chamussy.
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