The French Air Force is to receive a fourth Harfang drone and a third ground control station as part of the système interimaire de drone MALE (SIDM) programme.

Under the €33.7m ($48m) contract, EADS will provide equipment to complement the air force’s first three aerial vehicles and two ground control stations.

The air force will use the new aerial vehicle and ground control station to train operators and contribute to aviation security arrangements at national events.

The SIDM programme has been designed to provide surveillance, reconnaissance, target designation and laser illumination missions over hostile territory.

Equipped with satellite data link, the SIDM can cover a range of 1,000km in hostile theatres and transmit real-time information.