Riding on its success with the French Army after being selected for the Système de Mini Drone de Reconnaissance (SMDR) requirement, Thales is now positioning the man-portable Spy’Ranger unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for surveillance and reconnaissance requirements of armed forces in the Asia-Pacific region.
Speaking to Jane’s at the Milipol Asia-Pacific exhibition in Singapore on 5 April, a Thales official described mini-surveillance UAVs as systems that have become essential for the modern battlefield in terms of intelligence gathering and reconnaissance.
“The aim of this system is to deliver real-time high-resolution TV and infrared video, and help to detect threats that may be present to troops on the ground,” said Pascal Secretin, Thales’ product line manager for surveillance and small unmanned aerial systems, in an interview with Jane’s.
“The system can also receive and transmit data upstream and downstream at the same time, under secure conditions,” he said, adding that the UAV utilises a high throughput datalink to ensure high-definition images. The system has also been equipped with onboard processor that runs a similar target detection and tracking software module found on the Dassault Rafale multirole fighter aircraft.
According to specifications provided by Thales, the Spy’Ranger features a wing span of 3.8 m and a maximum take-off weight of 14.5 kg. The system, which can be deployed without tools in about 12 minutes, has a maximum range of 16 n miles (30 km) and can fly autonomously for three hours and at speeds of between 50 km/h to 90 km/h.
Powered by a single rear-facing electric motor, the Spy’Ranger can operate in wind speeds of up to 19 m/s (62 ft/s) and carry a payload of 1.2 kg (2 lb) in a retractable assembly.
Source: IHS Jane’s 360