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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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.


We tried, the French backed out

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.


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


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

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

andy reeves

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