Armed Forces

Polish-French Drones Offer for the French Army. Collaboration with NATO

Polish WB Group company, in collaboration with the French Safran company, offers the FlyEye UAV to the French Army, within the framework of the Felin combat system programme. The final offer is expected to be placed by 22nd June. The Polish system has already been tested in France.

FlyEye UAV system constitutes an element of the Safran company's offer submitted as a part of the SMDR programme, which is to make it possible to replace the DRAC drones. Procurement of 70 packages, including 210 UAVs, is being considered. According to Wojciech Komorniczak, Vice-President of the Management Board of the Flytronic company, the final offer shall be submitted on 22nd June. WB Electronics and Sagem have come to an agreement pertaining to the shape of the offer.

After the tests, some of the suppliers asked the DGA [French Army Procurement Agency - eds.] to make it possible to place one more offer. [...] At the moment this final offer, selected within the Best of Final Offer procedure final stage, is to be placed by 22nd June. During the Eurosatory event, we have been negotiating the final details pertaining to joint inclusion in that procedure. We have come to a full arrangement, and the offer details are already being determined.

Wojciech Komorniczak, Vice-President of the Management Board of the Flytronic Company, which constitiutes a part of the WB Group.

In April this year, tests of the Polish system have been carried out. The procedure constituted a condition, which had to be met in order to get the UAV accepted in the final phase of the procedure, according to the French regulations. Not only should the potential agreement within the SMDR programme include procurement of the UAVs, but also a specific technical support programme, repairs and overhauls and spare parts packages – all of the elements above are going to be included in the framework of the procurement. The drones shall constitute an element of the Felin infantry equipment package which is already being operated (including the Afghan and African theatres).

WB Group additionally has been able to negotiate an agreement with NATO NSPA, supporting the operation of the armament systems which are being used by the alliance’s member states. The agency will create a spare parts inventory for the FlyEye system and should any member state (Poland or France, prospectively) express its need to obtain the spares, the parts would be readily available.

FlyEye UAV offered to France may be operated for up to 3 hours, at distances of up to 30 kilometres from the control station. The UAV has been fitted with a multi-sensor electro-optic system, with visible light spectrum and thermal vision cameras, complemented by a laser indicator. According to the design assumptions the system is dropped on a parachute just prior to landing. This facilitates austere landings.

FlyEye systems are being operated by the Polish Army and have also been procured by the Border Guard.