6 imposing drones criss-cross the sky underneath French flag. They will progressively be armed to fire from the air. But do we seriously know these new weapons? Numerama exchanged with Colonel Olivier Celo to realize how our defense manages and drives these American equipment, significantly from fantasies.

         In the sky of the Sahel – we will not know far more about their place – one particular of the metal armor of the military in the identify of MQ 9 Reaper is in aid of the troops in ground: the drone follows troopers in delicate procedure.

Soldier of the liaison and operational aid detachment (DLAO) based in Ansongo as component of Operation “Barkhane”, 2015 / CC. Fred Marie

On land, the troopers are engaged in a takeover of an infrastructure held by belligerents. The square is employed for all varieties of website traffic, which include weapons, for jihadists in the region. But the recovery is upset: the French and their allies of the G5 Sahel endure crucial replies.

From Niamey, in the cockpit deported from the drone, the four customers of the crew place where the pictures come from. They acquire vital information and facts for the success of the troops engaged in the theater of functions, but without having weapons, they only specify the concentrate on to a fighter. It will intervene, later on – too late?

Armed drones, a promise of reactivity

Colonel Celo clarifies this anecdote to present us what the Army hears when it talks about reactivity time in procedure. If the drones are substantially slower than our Mirages, they are typically existing on the scene of open conflicts prior to the hunters. Included instantly in the assortment of military services intelligence, the Reaper are, according to the rank, the entrance row of functions.

Owning an autonomy of a tiny far more than 24 hours and a velocity of four hundred km / h, the imposing American drones modify the romantic relationship to the sky of the troopers in a context of conflict break-up. It is hence effortless to realize why the latter will be progressively armed: in the long operate, they will achieve independence from the air functions of fighter planes, even if it will ease some of their interventions.

MQ-9 Reaper / CC. U.S. Air Power picture / Grasp Sgt. Robert W. Valenca

If the bulk of French drones, 5, are based in Niamey, Niger, the sixth is in Cognac, Charente. And even though it has presently traveled back and forth across the Sahara, it is primarily employed for the instruction of long run pilots and for nationwide protection.

Colonel Celo clarifies: “ Throughout major events, like July fourteen, the Reaper permits us to tighten the air mesh on the territory. It will seek to recognize the terrestrial and aerial threats prior to and during large gatherings . “In this scenario, the drone leaves Cognac and his crew who stays on the ground to be a part of the sky of French towns. He is capable to be in an hour and a quarter in Paris, against two hours for Lille for instance. Then, its autonomy permits it to continue to be in procedure for about twenty hours, endurance incomparable to that of a fighter airplane.

Throughout July fourteen, the Reaper permits to tighten the air mesh on the territory

In the Niger, the Reaper are teleoperated in the exact way: on the ground, in what the troopers call the cockpit by spinning the metaphor of the planes, four operators assure the driving, the interpretation and the strategies.

Fighting the “distancing”

Even so, the French Army imposes on itself other mechanics than all those adopted by the Us residents, clarifies us the gradé: “ The variance among the Us residents and us is that we are not in a “Great Destroy” configuration [ndlr : en référence au thriller d’Andrew Niccol sur les drones armés, 2014]. “

The French discovered the moral and psychological challenge posed by the “

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