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EADS will provide its close-range reconnaissance UAV to the French armaments procurement agency for the DRAC (Drone de Reconnaissance Au Contact) programme

* The DRAC contract foresees the purchase of 160 very close-range UAV systems
* This is the largest very close-range UAV systems programme in Europe.
* The EADS Tracker system has been chosen for its performance, its innovative technology, the operational suitability of its architecture, and its maturity.

Paris, 10 January 2005

EADS Defence and Communications Systems (DCS) has been awarded the DRAC (close-range reconnaissance UAV) contract by the French armaments procurement agency (DGA). Under this contract DCS will be required to develop, test and manufacture a total of 160 very close-range UAV systems for the French army.

DRAC is the largest acquisition programme for close range battlefield reconnaissance UAV systems launched in Europe at the present time. The contract is worth a total of 30 million euros for 160 systems.

The DGA’s decision to accept the bid submitted by EADS in response to an international request for proposals, is confirmation of the Tracker system’s innovative nature and excellent performance. It can also be also attributed to the product’s maturity and the fact that it is ideally suited to the specific requirements of close-range reconnaissance missions. Other decisive factors were the system’s transportability and the rapidity with which it can be deployed, the exceptional quality of the images it supplies, and the robustness of its architecture.

Serving as a means of aerial reconnaissance and surveillance rather like “an extended pair of binoculars”, DRAC enables an operator to gather, display and process real-time images at a distance of up to 10 kilometres, by day or by night. One of the intended missions of the DRAC system is to immediately detect all presence or advancing infantry units or vehicles at a particular location or within a specific corridor in the command zone of the reconnaissance units, without having to deploy any ground sensors.

Each system consists of two fixed-wing aerial vehicles from the Tracker series, interchangeable gyro-stabilised visible-spectrum and infrared payloads, a data link and a portable, multifunction, ruggedised ground station. The latter in turn comprises two sets of functions: for mission preparation and control and for payload operation respectively. The complete equipment is packed in a rucksack that can be easily transported and deployed by two men. This feature makes DRAC particularly suitable for use by paratroopers.

The responsibility for developing and manufacturing the DRAC systems has been conferred on EADS, as overall prime contractor, working in partnership with SurveyCopter.

The flight and landing systems operate under automatic control. After being launched manually, the DRAC's flight envelope allows it to remain in flight for 90 minutes and cover a range of 10 kilometres. Despite the technical complexity of the systems, the control functions available to the operator are simplified for ease of use and to facilitate training.

Powered by a silent electric motor and equipped with sensors providing extremely accurate, high-quality images, the DRAC is capable of carrying out highly discrete real-time observation of a defined zone under night conditions.

"In a system approach EADS already leads the European market unmanned aerial vehicles as an integral part of ISR systems. This new contract strengthens the company’s position as a global player and leading European provider of the full range of ISR systems," declared Stefan Zoller, Chief Executive Officer of EADS Defence and Communications Systems.

The Defence and Communications Systems (DCS) business unit is the EADS “Systems House”, which forms an integral part of the EADS Defence and Security Systems (DS) division.

DS, which generated an annual turnover of approximately 5.2 billion euros in 2003 and employs around 24,000 people in nine different countries, represents the centre of excellence for the EADS Group’s defence activities. The division offers integrated system solutions to deal with the new threats facing the armed forces and other organisations responsible for civil defence and public safety. DS is active in the fields of military aircraft, missiles, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems based on manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, defence management systems, defence electronics, sensor systems and avionics, and related services.

EADS is a major player in the aerospace, defence and related service industries. The Group achieved a turnover in excess of 30 billion euros in 2003, and provides work for more than 109,000 employees.

Media contacts
Brigitte Faure
EADS Defence and Communications Systems
78063 Saint Quentin Yvelines Cédex
Tel.: + 33 (0)1 34 60 71 70
Fax: + 33 (0)1 34 60 81 12

Michael Meissner
EADS Defence and Communications Systems
81663 München
Tel.: +49 89 607 34850
Fax: +49 89 607 34801

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