French multinational Thales is set to unveil its latest solutions for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) at the upcoming European summit on security- and defense-oriented drones, UNVEX S&D, which will be held in the northwestern Spanish city of León between May 29-31.
Among Thales’ UAVs designed for military use, one, in particular, stands out: Fulmar X, which incorporates significant ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) improvements that will be showcased at the event.
On Wednesday, May 30 (the fair’s second day), Thales will carry out a flight demonstration with the latest Fulmar model at the Conde de Gazola military base.
Fulmar X is a versatile system capable of performing missions such as mountain search-and-rescue operations, surveillance of illegal trafficking activities or air support for ground forces.
Its ISR capabilities have been augmented thanks to a new dual gimbal, an improved graphics interface, as well as recovery and launch systems that help ease the takeoff, the company said.
At the end of last year, Thales Spain furnished the Spanish Army with a Fulmar system, which was acquired by the Ministry of Defense’s Armament and Material Office (DGAM) for 1,499,700 euros ($1,740,942).
In addition, Thales will present its new optronic system Gecko, designed for the detection and tracking of UAVs, its Squire radar intended for the battlefield, and the detection and identification system Horus X, currently deployed in Asia.
As one of Unvex S&D’s main sponsors, Thales is also slated to present a conference on the Stratobus project focused on the development of a stratospheric blimp drone. It will take place on Tuesday, May 29 and feature the company’s innovation chief, Ángel Álvaro.
Other Thales representatives will talk about different topics related to the latest cutting-edge unmanned systems technology. Sales head Matthew Moore will tackle cooperation in international programs, with an emphasis on the development of Watchkeeper. Raúl de Santos and Paco Simón, in charge of UAV projects, will approach the issue of Industrial Perspective. Global Overview of Experience and Capabilities. Gonzalo Aéchaga, the product director at Thales Programs, will dissect anti-drone systems.
The timetables and complete conference lineup can be found here.
In April, Thales agreed to join forces with Indra, Elettronica and Hensoldt to develop the European MALE RPAS program, a mission subsystem driven by Spain, France, Italy and Germany that will allow to meet the project’s future demands.
Thales’ proposal contemplates the development of an integrated ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) capacity, with the company’s experience in defense mission systems being an asset, thanks to the domination of four key digital technologies such as connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.
The corporation, which is present in 56 countries, also manufactures the UAVs Spy Ranger and Watchkeeper, the latter being considered the world’s most sophisticated ISTAR system. The Spy Ranger provides tactical advantages due to its surveillance capability during both day- and nighttime. It is a mini-UAV with a two-hour flight autonomy and a range of up to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles). Being equipped with gyro-stabilized optronic multisensors, it can achieve a very high resolution. Its developers have also underscored its encrypted data connection, the command and control software and its mobile digital support management system. The platform was specially designed for the support of reconnaissance missions, border patrol, domestic security and the protection of strategic infrastructure.