Leonardo’s Falco Xplorer drone unveiled at the Paris Air Show 2019 is free from United States’ International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regulations being entirely designed and manufactured in Europe.
In addition, its technical characteristics place it within the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) class II category which together with the ITAR-free status make the Falco Xplorer readily exportable around the world, Leonardo announced.
The ITAR states if a foreign-made product has more than 10% US made components, then State Department approval is mandatory for its export. In a case last year, MBDA could not sell its Scalp missiles to Egypt as part of the Rafale fighter jet contract as the missile came under the ITAR restrictions. The approval was received after lobbying at the highest level by France and led to delays in contract execution.
The Falco Xplorer is Leonardo’s largest-ever Remotely-Piloted Air System (RPAS). The new drone features a payload capacity of 350kg, more than 24 hours flight time and a satellite communications capability for beyond-radio-line-of-sight operations, all within a 1.3 ton maximum take-off weight (MTOW).
Following the unveiling, the new RPAS is expected to embark on its maiden flight in June from Trapani Airport in Italy. A series of trials will then take place throughout the year, capped off by a flight campaign with the platform’s fully-integrated sensor suite on-board. The RPAS could then be delivered to its launch customer as early as 2020. The drone will be certified according to NATO STANAG4671, meaning that it will be readily approved to fly for NATO countries.
Leonardo said everything is designed in-house; the aircraft, sensor suite, mission system and ground control station. The Falco Xplorer will be offered as both an integrated platform and as a fully managed information-superiority service. In the latter model, Leonardo will operate the aircraft and its sensors and manage logistics to provide actionable information directly to the customer.
The Falco Xplorer is undergoing certification for flight in non-segregated airspace, meaning Leonardo will be able to pitch it to civil customers such as coast guards and emergency responders as well as the military market.
Leonardo has signed an 18-month contract with the NCI Agency which will see the Company continue to deliver cyber-incident detection and management capabilities. The new NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) Cyber Security Support Services (CSSS) contract provides continuity of service to the NCIRC – Full Operational Capability (FOC) contract which ends in February 2019, the company said in a statement Wednesday, Leonardo and the NCI Agency work in partnership to protect NATOs Communications and Information System (CIS) infrastructure from cyber-attacks
Leonardos Falco EVO Remotely-Piloted Air System (RPAS), in a maritime patrol configuration, has been deployed from Lampedusa airport (Lampedusa Island) as part of the Frontex surveillance research programme to test its ability to monitor the European Unions external borders. Frontex is exploring the surveillance capability of medium-altitude, long-endurance RPAS as well as evaluating cost efficiency and endurance
France is working to reduce US-made components from its defense products so as not to run afoul of the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which allow Washington to veto sale to countries it does not approve of. French Defence Minister Florence Parly said Yesterday that reducing dependence on US-made components was necessary so as not to hinder the export of French military products
France has received Washington's nod to export Scalp missiles to Egypt as part of a package for the sale of Rafale fighter jets. The requisite export licences have been received to bypass the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) rules which prohibit sale of military equipment to certain countries which have US made components,
Vitrociset and Park Air Systems, subsidiaries of Leonardo and Northop Grumman respectively have been awarded a five-year radio replacement contract by Italian air navigation services provider, ENAV. The agreement is to replace ground-to-air communications equipment for airports and the supporting en-route infrastructure
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