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The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has selected Thales' Spy'Ranger mini surveillance and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to equip the French military.

Thales will supply up to 210 mini reconnaissance UAVs to the French forces, starting 2018.

Developed by Thales in collaboration with several French SMEs, Spy’Ranger can be operated in a standalone mode or connected to a C4I1 system.

Thales Optronics business in charge Jean-Pascal Arrou-Vignod said: "Developed by Thales in cooperation with French SMEs Aviation Design and Merio in under 13 months, Spy’Ranger will offer French Forces a number of innovations that provide real capability gains.

"Spy’Ranger will therefore markedly contribute to the gathering of frontline intelligence and to the protection of forces in operation."

The UAV is capable of performing observation missions at a distance of up to 30km for two hours 30 minutes.

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Its tactical data link facilitates the transmission of a high-definition image streams at high-speeds and command and control software (C2) provides an effective user interface.

The Spy’Ranger's mobile and digital support management system is based on Thales' Smartfleet solution.

The UAV has been designed for frontline air-land intelligence missions in battlefields in hostile environments.

It can carry out a variety of missions such as support a combined arms tactical group manoeuvre or an offensive reconnaissance mission; provide a cover mechanism, support the neutralisation of strong points and contribute to firing manoeuvres by providing a 'remote airborne eye' able to adjust shooting rounds on a target, Thales said in a statement.

Image: Thales' Spy’Ranger. Photo: ©Aviation Design.