The French air force’s MQ-9 Reaper drones passed the symbolic 20,000 flight hour milestone.
On the proposed Niamey airbase, 25 airmen deploy five Reaper drones. Pilots, sensor operators, tactical coordinators, image operators and mechanics take turns 24 hours a day to provide the necessary information to the various command posts and decision-making authorities to conduct and plan operations.
"Given the vastness of the Sahel-Saharan theater, the ISR capacity of the Reaper drones is at the core of aviation operations, and complements other sensors," said the detachment commander. "The valuable information they provide allows for very accurate intelligence and provides a unique capability in the French forces to immediately analyze information. This advantage allows decision-makers to redirect actions in real time. "The Reaper has definitely replaced its predecessor, the Harfang drone, and is now a key and essential part of BSS operations," he concluded.
Deployed since January 2014 in Niamey, the Reaper drone crews reinforce the surveillance, intelligence and intervention capabilities of the Barkhane Force.
Led by the French armed forces, in partnership with the G5 Sahel countries, Operation Barkhane was launched on August 1, 2014. It is based on a strategic approach and a partnership with the main countries of the Sahel-Saharan Strip (BSS): Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina-Faso.
French Air Forces MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft has marked its first flight Tuesday after taking off from Cognac air base. The flight in French airspace has demonstrated that the air force can autonomously train its Reaper crews, helping it to stop becoming dependent on third-party support, French Air Force announced Thursday
France has deployed two additional MQ-9 Reaper drones to Niamey, Niger received from General Atomics in support of the country's Operation in the Sahel region. The UAVs arrived at Base Aérienne 101 in Niamey, Niger, at the end of 2016 where the Escadron de Drone 1/33 Belfort has been operating three other MQ-9s since January 2015 in support of the country's Operation 'Barkhane' in the Sahel region, a French military source was quoted as saying by
The French Air Force took delivery of MQ-9 (Block 1) Reaper drones deployed in the Sahel region on January 1, 2014. The arrival of this first UAV system is a result of the priority given to intelligence in the White Paper on Defense and National Security that was approved by the President of the Republic on 29 April 2013
A French air force crew conducted their first familiarization flight of a flying an MQ-9 Reaper drone on Tuesday, September 24, 2013, at the Holloman air force base in New Mexico, in the United States.The flight, which lasted two hours, was intended to familiarize the crew with the handling of the aircraft and of its on-board sensors; the crew consisted of two pilot/operators with prior experience of the French UAV systems
France plans to buy as many as 16 MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) officials told Congress. The Reapers are included in a potentially $1
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