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PAS 2011: Selex Galileo unveils Falco 'Evolution'

20th June 2011 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Selex Galileo will unveil the latest variant of its Falco tactical UAV at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget this week.

Dubbed ‘Evolution’, the extended-wing version will improve endurance, payload and altitude parameters, according to Selex Galileo CEO Fabrizio Giualianini. In a pre-airshow briefing, he said the UAV’s wingspan would increase from 7.2m to 12.5m, allowing payload capacity to be increased from 60kg to 100kg plus as well as an endurance extension from 14 hours up to 18.

In addition, the ‘Evo’ model will be able to operate up to 1,000m higher than previous altitudes of 5,000m. Existing Falco UAVs will also have the ability to be retrofitted with the wing extensions, he added.

The news follows the signatures of two contracts for Falco UAVs to international customers outside Italy. Unable to confirm which nations, Giualianini conceded that the undisclosed number of aircraft had already been delivered including Evolution variants.

In addition, Selex Galileo revealed that it had also developed an electronic warfare (EW) payload for the Falco UAV comprising a wing-tip array for ‘high accuracy’ direction finding; data-sharing; and geo-location capabilities.

The company also said it had recently integrated its PicoSAR radar system on board a Falco and subsequently sold onto an undisclosed customer. Giualianini said: ‘It provides a lot of operational advances in surveillance and gives SAR/GMTI capability, greatly increasing the operational capability of the system’.

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