General Atomics has won an $18 million contract action to weaponise France’s MQ‐9 Block 5 drones.

According to a contract notice:

“General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $17,868,222 undefinitized contract action for the France MQ-9 Block 5 weaponization and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Pod Integration effort. This contract provides for the weaponization of the French Air Force MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft and integration of the FMS Pod onto the French Air Force MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft.

Work will be performed in Poway, California, and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2021.

This contract involves 100% foreign military sales to France. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $8,755,428 are being obligated at the time of award.”

In 2014, France’s first MQ-9 flight took off from Niger. The first two Reapers to enter French service are designated Block 1 and use U.S. equipment; further orders are to be modified with European payloads such as sensors and datalinks.

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Cam
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Cam

It’s a dam Shame the UK and France haven’t made an operational weaponised drone by now! We both need them so we should build them ourselves.

SubOrbital
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SubOrbital

We tried, the French backed out

Steve R
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Steve R

I think our next foray into that will be LANCA, which I’m assuming could be used in the same way as Reaper as well as a loyal wingman role.

I’m torn re: Taranis on whether we should go ahead with a production model to partially replace the Tornado in the deep strike role. They’d be effective but chance are we would build only 20-30 so the cost of them would probably be not much less than an F35.

Might be worth just waiting until LANCA.

dan
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dan

About damn time the US OK’d the arming of French Reapers!

pkcasimir
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pkcasimir

The French could have requested an FMS sale to arm their Reapers anytime in the past five years and it would have been approved.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

Taranis, the u.k drone should also be weaponized and able to operate from the u.k carriers

andy reeves
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andy reeves

taranis should be weaponized an d be able to operate from the u.k carriers