Airbus Helicopters and the French defense company Naval Group have completed a sea trial of a naval aerial drone system in the Mediterranean Sea.
The autonomous VSR700 flew from the multi-mission frigate Provence, demonstrating its capability to perform surveillance and intelligence missions from an operational warship.
The trial was conducted with the French Navy, which supplied the frigate, and the French Armament General Directorate, DGA.
“We are very happy with the success of these trials, which mark a major step in the reinforcement of the French Navy’s future capabilities,” said Pierre-Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group.
The DGA selected Airbus Helicopters and Naval Group to conduct a derisking study under the SDAM (Système de Drone Aérien Marine) program, which aims to produce a rotary-wing unmanned aerial system demonstrator for the French Navy.
According to Pommellet, the trial showed that the SDAM demonstrator is compatible with other existing systems, including Naval Group’s I4Drones.
French small and medium enterprises also contribute to the SDAM program.