Leonardo reports that its Falco remotely-piloted air system has logged more than 15,000 hours of operational flight time with five international customers.
Leonardo reports that its Falco family of remotely-piloted air systems (RPAS) has logged more than 15,000 hours of operational flight time with five international customers. The milestone was announced at UMEX, the United Arab Emirates’ specialist unmanned systems exhibition, on 25th February.
Since its maiden flight in 2003, more than 50 Falco RPASs have been brought into operation with five customers worldwide. Some users operate the surveillance and intelligence-gathering platform independently, while others have contracted Leonardo to own and operate the aircraft and provide surveillance data as an air service operator.
According to Leonardo, this latter model is becoming increasingly popular, with the United Nations as a reference customer. Leonardo has flown Falco RPASs for thousands of hours over the first four years of support for the organisation’s MONUSCO humanitarian mission.
The latest addition to the family, called the Falco Evo, has been selected by two customers in the Middle East and Gulf region. First delivery took place towards the end of last year. The Falco Evo is the longest-endurance model in the family, offering customers more than 20 hours of flight time with a payload of up to 100kg.
Falco Evo is capable of carrying a range of Leonardo sensors including the company’s Osprey and Gabbiano UL (Ultra-Light) radars. Customers can also choose to equip the platform with third-party sensors.
Leonardo claims to be the only company in Europe able to offer a complete end-to-end RPAS, including sensors/comms, mission management systems and ground control stations.