Bigger Falco Breaks Cover

 - June 27, 2011, 5:50 AM
Spreading its wings: Falco has become Falco EVO by gaining wingspan and area.

At last week’s Paris Air Show Selex Galileo displayed a larger version of its Falco unmanned air vehicle, fitted with longer wings for greater endurance and better payload capability. Designated Falco EVO, the new version has a wingspan of 12.5 meters (41 feet) compared with 7.2 meters (23.62 feet),  allowing an increase in maximum takeoff weight to 650 kilograms (1,430 pounds), up from 450 kg (990 pounds). The allowable weight increase is shared between extra payload capacity, up from 70 kilograms to 100, and more fuel. The latter now gives Falco an endurance of more than 18 hours.

Falco EVO retains the design’s original fuselage, and the new wings are available as an upgrade package. The first flight of the longer-span version is slated for the first quarter of next year.

Selex Galileo has also improved the Falco system’s offline target data evaluation and processing. Data can now be disseminated through the command network in STANAG 4609 format. Remote video terminals are now available for front-line units to receive real-time imagery from the Falco air vehicle.

Falco can carry a variety of sensors, such as the PicoSAR AESA synthetic aperture imaging radar, EOST 46 multi-sensor turret and SAGE ESM/Elint payload, all of which are from the Selex Galileo stable.