Contract demonstrates reliability and qualities of the DRAC system in service with operational Army units in Afghanistan
Cassidian has been notified by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) of the confirmation of additional orders for DRAC air vehicles and systems for the French Army.
The DRAC mini-UAV close-range reconnaissance system is intended to enhance the intelligence seeking and reconnaissance capabilities of front-line army units.
The short-range DRAC UAV system has been developed for the French Army by Cassidian Air Systems, in partnership with SurveyCopter, as was the Tracker system from which it is derived.
Each DRAC system consists of two UAVs equipped with payloads, a compact ground station and an automatic tracking antenna. It can be packed into two personal rucksacks, thus allowing entirely autonomous missions. Tracker is one of the mini-UAV systems that offer the best performance available on the market.
On completion of its industrial qualification, which was achieved in 2007, the DRAC system was granted type certification in 2010 by the French airworthiness authorities, who are considered to be among the most stringent in the world. DRAC is currently the only mini UAV in France to have received such certification. The DRAC system has been in operational service since October 2010 with the French Army units deployed in Afghanistan.
“We are very proud to have won this new order which is a pledge of the DGA’s and French Army’s renewed confidence in us. This contract is a demonstration of the recognised reliability and qualities of the DRAC system in service with operational Army units in Afghanistan. The feedback of experience from field operations has enabled us, thanks to the close collaboration with our customer, to continue to significantly improve the performance of this mini-UAV which is confirming its position as one of the most robust available, under the severe environmental and operating conditions encountered,” declared Nicolas Chamussy, Senior Vice President of Cassidian Air Systems and Head of Unmanned Aerial Systems.
“The addition of the feedback of operational experience has stimulated the development of skills required for the integration of new advances to our systems, an essential aspect for the future of the family of drones which Cassidian is able to offer to its customers,” said Christine Jauffret, Head of the DRAC and Tracker programmes.