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Spain acquires Airbus SIRTAP drones for €495 million.

| 2023

In a move to strengthen its defense and surveillance capabilities, the Spanish Ministry of Defense has finalized an agreement with Airbus for the purchase of SIRTAP drones. The contract, worth €495 million (approximately $539 million), marks a crucial step in enhancing Spain's national security infrastructure. This announcement was made on November 29, 2023, by the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

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Spain Acquires Airbus SIRTAP Drones for 495 Million 925 001 Airbus SIRTAP drone (Picture source: Spanish MoD)

The agreement includes the delivery of nine SIRTAP systems, which will be distributed among the Spanish Army, Air Force, and Space Force. Each system consists of three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and a dedicated ground control station. Additionally, the contract incorporates two simulators for comprehensive training of Spanish SIRTAP operators.

Jean-Brice Dumont, head of Airbus Military Air Systems, emphasized the strategic importance of drones in reinforcing Spain's sovereignty. He highlighted the complete development of the SIRTAP within Spain, integrating national capabilities. The use of ITAR-free components in these drones also positions them as a key player in the international market.

The SIRTAP drone is a high-level UAV, capable of carrying payloads of up to 150 kilograms (330 pounds). It has an impressive endurance of over 20 hours and can cover distances up to 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) at altitudes reaching 6,400 meters (21,000 feet). The versatility of the UAV extends to its armament with both guided and conventional weapons, enabling it to support a range of combat missions.

Airbus has designed the SIRTAP to operate in the most challenging environmental and operational conditions. The UAV will be certified for flight in segregated airspace, allowing it to also undertake civil operations.

This acquisition plays a pivotal role in enhancing Spain's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The SIRTAP drones will operate alongside the existing fleet of US-made Predator drones, significantly amplifying the nation's surveillance and defense mechanisms.

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