SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The French Air Force operated two of its MQ-9 Reapers® simultaneously in support of France’s Bastille Day events, one over Paris and the second over Cognac, on July 14th. The “French Reapers,” Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), assisted French authorities by providing airborne surveillance over the national celebration.
The French Air Force benefits from permanent corridor systems connecting all military-dedicated airspace, which enabled the RPA to access restricted areas created over Paris for the Bastille Day celebrations. MQ-9 Reaper flew safely over a populated area of seven million people, among numerous other military aircraft participating in the airborne parade.
“We are pleased that MQ-9 Reaper flew over this important national event in France,” said GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue. “Using its ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance] sensors suite, the MQ-9 enhanced the safety of the French public who attended Bastille Day activities. As a company, we are very proud of the role we play in France’s national security and its contribution to the NATO Alliance.”
Last year, France received its second MQ-9 Reaper system, consisting of three aircraft and a ground control station (GCS). Two French MQ-9s are based in Cognac Châteaubernard Air Base, where they perform daily training or ISR support to interministerial missions in French airspace. The 1/33 Belfort RPA squadron currently operates six Reaper RPA to provide intelligence and support capabilities to Operation Barkhane and the Special Forces.
The French Reaper fleet has flown some 21,000 flight hours to date. By the end of 2019, the French Air Force says it will have 12 MQ-9s operated in shifts by 30 crews.
Hi-resolution photos of the French MQ-9 Reaper are available to qualified media outlets from the listed GA-ASI media contact.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than five million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.
Predator, Reaper, and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.