Defence & Security News - France
|Saturday, June 29, 2013 11:47 AM|
|France will buy 16 MQ-9 Reaper UAS Unmanned Aircraft Systems from United States.|
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency of United States notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to France of 16 MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B) Remotely Piloted Aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.5 billion.
An MQ-9 Reaper of U.S. Air Force taxis at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez)
The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (also called Predator B) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), capable of remote controlled or autonomous flight operations, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for use by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, the CIA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Royal Air Force, and the Italian Air Force.
Also provided are spare and repair parts, communication, test, and support equipment, publications and technical documentation, airworthiness and maintenance support, site surveys and bed down planning, personnel training and training equipment, operational flight test, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $1.5 billion.
France is one of the major political and economic powers in Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and an ally of the United States in the pursuit of peace and stability. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist France to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This potential sale will enhance the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability of the French military in support of national, NATO, United Nation-mandated, and other coalition operations. Commonality of ISR capabilities will greatly increase interoperability between the U.S and French military and peacekeeping forces.
France requests these capabilities to provide for the defense of its deployed troops, regional security, and interoperability with the U.S. The proposed sale will improve France’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing improved ISR coverage that promotes increased battlefield situational awareness, anticipates enemy intent, augments combat search and rescue, and provides ground troop support. France, which already has remotely piloted aircraft in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing this additional capability.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. in San Diego, California. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to France and deployed location for U.S. contractor representatives to provide initial launch, recovery, and maintenance support.