French troop convoys in Afghanistan secured by IT180 mini UAV
Several IT180 mini UAV systems have been ordered by the French DGA to provide advanced observation and detection capabilities for the Engineer Units, particularly in the fight against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
First systems will be delivered by INFOTRON starting from summer 2012. This is one of the first military contracts of reference for this SME located near Paris, which has developed this mini-helicopter UAV with counter-rotating rotors since 2005.
The DROGEN system IT180 UAV (see www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoi7njsw77M) has been already used for civil missions (diagnostics of engineering structures, monitoring forest fires, orthophotography, aeromagnetic maps, etc).
Each DROGEN system is composed of two vectors equipped with dual optical gyro-stabilized cameras and a ground control station developed in partnership with Thales Optronique (TOSA). The system has a range of more than 3 km and an endurance of 30 minutes. The quick battery exchange procedure ( Its robustness, quick set-up, detection capabilities by day or night and stealthiness were decisive factors in the DGA teams’ choice of this system.
Several countries have already chosen the military version of this system for reconnaissance and observation missions, particularly in the fight against drug trafficking or counter-terrorism. “This new commercial success reinforces INFOTRON’s position in the growing market of military mini-drones. This reference gives us stronger credibility for addressing lots of export opportunities,” says Francis Duruflé, INFOTRON’s Marketing and Sales Director.
“Thanks to its intrinsic stability due to its counter-rotating rotors, it is the only product in its category able to carry such high-performance detection systems in severe environmental conditions. It is a unique product in its category – a real Jeep® of the air that took more than four years of R&D with several patents being filed,” adds Christian Brunel, INFOTRON’s Chief Technical Officer.
Source : INFOTRON