Ukraine and France Will Jointly Manufacture Combat Drones
Ukraine and France are set to collaborate on the production of combat drones, as the state enterprise "Antonov" and the French company Turgis&Gaillard signed an agreement for the manufacture of the Aarok MALE combat drone on Ukrainian soil.
This development was reported by La Tribune.
The agreement was inked during the visit of France's Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, to Ukraine. As The Gaze reported, Lecornu was accompanied by representatives from around 20 French companies specializing in military technology (including armored vehicles, artillery, drones), cybersecurity, and demining.
The Aarok MALE (Medium Altitude Long Range) drone, categorized alongside the Reaper, was one of the surprises at the Paris Air Show in June. Media outlets reported it as France's largest combat reconnaissance drone to date. Weighing 2.5 tonnes, it is capable of carrying a 3-ton payload, inclusive of fuel, rockets, and reconnaissance electronics.
The Aarok drone, as stated on the Aarok website, performs observation and reconnaissance missions using highly effective optical-electronic and electromagnetic sensors.
Thanks to its high payload capacity, the Aarok can deliver anti-defense weaponry and perform tasks such as close air support, strike coordination, and reconnaissance, as well as suppressing enemy air defenses. It can conduct strike operations, ground and maritime surveillance, counter-ship operations, and execute search and rescue missions.
Following the signing of the agreement, both parties will determine where the drone will be assembled and which French and Ukrainian components will be required.
Turgis&Gaillard was founded in 2011 to develop Gerfaut, a system that integrates precision-guided munitions under the wings of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to perform strike missions without modifying the aircraft. Over the past twelve years, the Group has become a strategic partner for the French armed forces and its allies, as well as major aerospace companies.
As of now, approximately 300 engineers and technicians work at the company's nine production sites in France, with an annual turnover of around EUR 50 million.
It was previously reported that during his visit to Kyiv, Lecornu, France and Ukraine signed nearly ten agreements for cooperation in the defense industry.