Selex Galileo has announced a new sale for its Falco tactical unmanned air system, bringing the number of export customers to four. The company has also revealed that more than 50 air vehicles are in operation.
While Selex has not named any of its Falco customers, the Pakistan air force has separately declared that it is a major user of the type and that it has seen operational service during anti-terrorist campaigns in Pakistan’s remote federally administered tribal areas. Pakistan is believed to have been the launch customer for the Falco, which began operations in 2007. Other nations that have been linked with the Falco include Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
As well as providing the Falco air vehicle, Selex Galileo offers a range of sensors, including EOST 46 electro-optical/infrared turret, Gabbiano 20 multi-mode surveillance radar and the PicoSAR radar. The latter is a compact, active “e-scan” radar providing synthetic aperture radar imagery and ground moving target indication. When used in conjunction with change detection software, the PicoSAR can be a powerful counter-IED tool. The Falco can also carry the SAGE electronic warfare suite for accurate direction-finding, classification and geo-location of emitters.
Meanwhile, Selex Galileo (Outdoor Exhibit 1) is expecting to begin flight tests of the Falco EVO derivative this week. The EVO was unveiled at last year’s Paris Air Show and is a version with longer tailbooms and wingspan extended to 41 feet, compared with the 24 feet of the standard version. The extra span equates to an increase in maximum takeoff weight, which is shared between extra payload capacity and more fuel. The latter gives Falco EVO an endurance of more than 18 hours. The fuselage pod of the EVO remains unchanged from that of the baseline version, and the longer wings and tailbooms can be retrofitted to existing Falco vehicles.