Sagem celebrates 25 years as drone prime contractor, and introduces the "Patroller Cluster "

Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, June 16, 2015

25 companies gathered around Safran Electronics & Defense to kick off an industrial partnership around the Patroller program: the Patroller cluster.

As Sagem celebrates its 25 years of prime contractor engagement and innovation for drones deployed by armed forces, it is also introducing the "Patroller Cluster", a grouping of high-tech companies from France and throughout Europe, specializing in drone systems.

A pioneer in tactical drone systems for France and NATO forces, over the last quarter-century Sagem has built up expertise recognized in Europe, first with the Crécerelle, then the Sperwer drone. More than 150 Sperwer drones have been built in France, and they were deployed for nine years in Afghanistan, by the armed forces of Canada, the Netherlands and France. Drawing on the industrial and operational lessons learned from this experience, Sagem has now developed the Patroller, a long-endurance tactical drone system.

The new Patroller Cluster grouping offers a host of advantages for drone development in Europe.

It will provide the technological building blocks that play a decisive role in the performance of the airframe and mission payload. The Cluster will provide close industrial support for armed forces, quickly providing competitive solutions to evolving operational needs, with complete autonomy.

The Patroller Cluster brings together some 25 French and European high-tech companies, including French firms specializing in optics, lasers, data compression, simulation,  virtual reality, propulsion, high-precision mechanics, materials, flight safety and certification.

At the European level, Sagem is teaming up with Ecarys/Stemme of Germany, supplier of the Patroller airframe, and Selex, which supplies the imaging radar and avionics equipment.

"France produces about 85 to 90% of the Patroller," notes Frédéric Mazzanti, Sagem Vice President and head of the Optronics & Defense division. "In fact, French design is at the heart of its mission system. Through Sagem, this new program will drive the development of a competitive drone industry serving both France and export markets."

The ceremony was held at Safran's Hospitality Chalet at the Air Show, and was attended by members of the Patroller Cluster and French parliament, representatives of armed forces, foreign delegations, public safety organizations and air navigation authorities.

The aim of the Patroller Cluster is to address armed forces' most demanding needs, by providing its customers with a unified industrial organization working in conjunction with Sagem's main facilities: Eragny (R&D), Fougères (pc boards), Dijon (optronic pods), Massy (C4ISR systems), Poitiers (infrared imagers), and Montluçon (system integration and ground segment), which already handles production of the Sperwer drone.

The Patroller is a multi-sensor drone in the 1 ton class. It carries a payload of 250 kg, in the fuselage or in pods (optronics, radar and electronic warfare), and offers endurance of 20 hours, a ceiling of 20,000 ft, and speed ranging from 100 to 200 km/h.

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