Sagem and Egypt collaborate on UAVs

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Sagem and Egyptian company AOI-Aircraft Factory have signed a collaboration agreement indicating the Egyptian Ministry of Defence is acquiring Patroller unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Sagem on 24 September announced that it had signed an exclusive commercial and industrial collaboration agreement concerning the Patroller surveillance system, to address the requirements of the Egyptian Ministry of Defence (MoD).

According to the terms of the agreement, AOI-Aircraft Factory could handle final assembly of Patroller UAVs in its Egyptian plants. Although not directly stating that Egypt has ordered the Patroller, the terms of the agreement cover system support and commissioning. AOI-Aircraft Factory will develop a dedicated training centre in Egypt to train staff for the operation and maintenance of Sagem’s UAVs.

Developed in France by Sagem, the company-funded Patroller is a long-endurance tactical UAV able to carry a multi-sensor payload of up to 250 kg, which is either fuselage or pod-mounted.

The Patroller offers endurance of more than 20 hours, and an operating ceiling of 20 000 feet. Sagem has already conducted a flight demonstration on Patroller showing the simultaneous operation of different sensors: optronic (electro-optical) pod, radar, electronic warfare (EW) system, distress beacon detector and automatic identification system (AIS) receiver.

The Patroller’s design draws on ten years of experience with Sagem’s Sperwer UAV system to support operations in Afghanistan. The UAV is competing against the Thales Watchkeeper to meet a French military requirement.

AOI-Aircraft Factory is part of Egypt’s state-owned Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI), and has assembled CATIC K-8 jet trainers for the Egyptian Air Force, amongst other projects.