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Italian Air Force to upgrade its MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles fleet

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - Italy

 
 
Italian Air Force to upgrade its MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles fleet
 
The Italian air force has confirmed that it is in the process of acquiring the Rafael Reccelite reconnaissance pod and has its sights sets on the Selex Seaspray 7500E radar to upgrade its fleet of General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned air vehicles.
     
The Italian air force has confirmed that it is in the process of acquiring the Rafael Reccelite reconnaissance pod and has its sights sets on the Selex Seaspray 7500E radar to upgrade its fleet of General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned air vehicles.
Italian Air Force's MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle
     
The Reccelite pods are being acquired through a direct sale with Rafael and are expected to reach full operational capability across the fleet of unarmed UAVs in 2016, Lt Col Lorenzo Rispoli, MQ-1 and MQ-9 programme office deputy lead for the Italian air force, told the SMi Unmanned Aerial Systems conference in London.

The radar would provide a wide-area surveillance capability for the Italian Reapers, but the acquisition is currently pending government approval.

We are now working on developing new capabilities with the Reccelite pod, then will work on the integration of the Seaspray 7500E200 radar…to have it on board for surveillance,” Rispoli says. “Technically, we are ready to start the [radar] programme, but we are waiting for the budget approval."

In the future, we want a multi-spectral capability, which is why we are developing the Reccelite and Seaspray capability.

He adds that the air force is also considering increasing the size of its fleet of Reapers, which are operating at full capability in Afghanistan ahead of withdrawal in the coming months.

(Source: Flightglobal.com)