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French Navy wants its own carrier based drones.

| 2022

According to information published by Opex 360 on December 7, 2022, the French Navy would be very interested in carrier-based drones during the hearing of the Chief of Staff of the French Navy, Pierre Vandier, at the French National Parliament.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle during a maritime patrol. (Picture source: French government)

The Chief of Staff of the French Navy praised the Aliaca fixed-wing drone systems (SMDM) for the Navy. This system was qualified by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) on September 1, 2022.

The Aliaca maritime UAS is a high endurance versatile system allowing up to 3 hours missions over a 50 km (27 Nm) range, perfectly adapted to maritime missions with high gyro stabilized EO/IR payload performances and qualified to operate in severe environmental conditions.

Launched by catapult, the Aliaca maritime UAS concludes its flight by landing automatically using a dedicated net landing solution. With a length of 2,2m and a wingspan of 3,6m for a maximum take-off weight of 16 kg, the Aliaca maritime UAS benefits from a powerful yet silent electric motor. The system can be deployed easily and rapidly in less than 15 minutes by 2 operators only.

But Admiral Pierre Vandier did not comment on the difficulties that the VSR700 Unmanned Aircraft System (SDAM) would face. On the other hand, he welcomed the success of the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 (Serval) which is an Austrian-made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) using a rotorcraft design.

In the field of carrier-based drones, France is lagging behind because countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom have developed solutions.

The promising country in this field is Türkiye, which is completing the TCG Anadolu amphibious assault ship. The Turks would like to eventually launch the Bayraktar TB2 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) from this ship, or even their new Baykar Bayraktar Kızılelma that is a jet-powered, single-engine, low-observable, supersonic, unmanned fighter aircraft.

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