The worth of the contract, signed in the framework of program “Foreign military sales” is 123 million dollars. Works will be implemented at the enterprise of company in the city of Poway (California state) and must be fully completed by the 1st of May, 2020.
As Center for analysis of world arms trade reported, on the 27th of June, 2013 the Agency on cooperation in the field of security of the ministry of defense of the USA (DSCA) notified the Congress about planed supply to France in the framework of the program “Foreign military sales” 16 unmanned aerial vehicles MQ-9 “Riper”, bound equipment and services, the total worth of which at that moment evaluated in 1,5 billion dollars.
The “Law on military programs on 2014-2019yy.” prepared in August, 2013 provided for the purchase for French Armed Forces of 4 complexes, in the structure of each will be included three UAV. Their worth evaluated in 670 million Euros (about 874 million dollars). It is supposed, that all 12 apparatuses will be adopted in army by 2019 and remain in exploitation till 2023-2025 yy., after which France is intended to purchase UAV of European development.
As was stated when purchasing of “Riper”, at the beginning level UAV will be applied for reconnaissance, and possibility of equipping them with weapons will be considered later.
In December 2013 the Ministry of Defense got the first unmanned aerial complex(UAC) “Riper”, including two UAV and ground control station. The third UAV was transferred to Air Forces of France in April 2015. All UAVs implemented in version Block 1 and don’t carry arms. The Ministry of Defense of France placed the order on supply of the second UAC on the base of UAV MQ-9 “Riper” in June, 2015, of the third –in December 2015, of the forth –in December 2016. Supply of the second complex started in January 2017.
The place of permanent placement of supplied UAV is 709th air base “Konyak”. One of supplied UAV will be applied at the air base for training of personal. Remain apparatuses in the stuff of 1/33 squadron now are deployed at the expedition base “Niamey” (Niger) for supporting of the “Barhan” operation. The total flight of UAV exceeded 21 thousand hours.
The third and forth complexes will be supplied in version Block.5, which can carry a payload for radio electronic reconnaissance, to be equipped by separate channels of information exchange for piloting of UAV, controlling by fight systems and transfer of data. Supplied primarily UAV of version block.1 subsequently also must be modernized to version Block.5.