The French military has lost one of its Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a crash in Niger.
The French Defence Staff said on 17 November around 1:00 am, Paris time, Niamey air base lost contact with a Reaper belonging to Barkhane Force which was returning to base after completing a mission.
The aircraft crashed in a desert area a few kilometres from the runway, without causing any injuries.
The exact reasons for this accident are not known. An investigation to determine its causes has been opened.
This is the first accident of a French Reaper since the type entered service in January 2014 with the French Air Force operating in Africa’s Sahel-Saharan band.
French Reapers have flown more than 23 000 hours since being put into operational service.
France had four Reapers in Africa and two in France. It has ordered another six.