Novadem, the French SME based in Aix-en-Provence, has just finalized the delivery of the 27 NX70 micro-UAV systems ordered by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) last December.
As a reminder, this order of more than 2M€ was placed in the context of an operational emergency, approved by the French Armed Forces Headquarter at the end of 2018, aiming at quickly endowing land forces with more performing and secured detection capacities, capable of operating by day and night.
Aix-en-Provence, September 12th, 2019. These last 8 months were intense for the Novadem team ! There are no less than 55 micro-UAVs and almost 400 associated equipment and spare parts that have been manufactured and delivered to the DGA.
“We managed to manufacture and deliver in a short period of time all equipment ordered by the DGA which have been deployed shortly after in operations”, highlights Pascal Zunino, the Novadem CEO.
The company demonstrated agility and reactivity to absorb this unprecedented production peak.
“For several years, we have put in place all necessary processes and documentation to be able to face, when the day arrives, this increase of the production rate. This major contract has allowed us to refine and validate our organization in order to make it replicable in the future and to reach the quality standards expected by the DGA”.
Despite this tight timeframe, Novadem managed to make it available to the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, as early as March, the first NX70 systems intended for evaluations and to ensure the training of trainers from the 61st Artillery Regiment who foresee to train more than 100 NX70 operators the first year. In order to meet the operational emergency needs and to ensure the immediate deployment of the systems in operations, Novadem also took in charge the training of a dozen of operators.
NX70 BLOCK 2
Over the years and customer feedback, the NX70 has evolved to reach « Block 2 » version at the beginning of 2019. First-generation of NX70 users were the French Gendarmerie Nationale after Novadem won the tender in 2016 which concerned the delivery of 19 NX70 micro-UAVs. Their feedbacks as well as feedbacks of other customers in France and abroad allowed to continue the R&D and to develop the « Block 2 » which marks a new step compared to the first generation. In particular, the image stabilization, DRI performances and night vision capabilities have been clearly improved. Radiofrequency links have also evolved to meet military requirements: defense frequency bands, data encryption and a radio range increased to more than 5 kilometers.
Technical and operational evaluations validated
The technical and operational evaluations carried out in June on the Mourmelon military camp by the technical section of the land forces allowed to validate the NX70 system with regard to the French Armed Forces Headquarter’s DRI, range and endurance requirements. At the end of these evaluations, the Ministry of the Armed Forces has considered the NX70 as compliant with the requirements of the operational emergency mandate and has validated its deployment in operations. The NX70 systems arrived last week in external theatres of operations.
This contract represents a major step in the development of Novadem and brings the French company a reinforced visibility and credibility in the defense sector on the international scene.
The attribution of the label « As used by French Armed Forces » to the NX70 micro-UAV in July by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces reflects the recognition of all the work done during these last 13 years.