French Air Force’s First ALSR “Vador” Light Surveillance and Reconnaissance Aircraft Arrives at Évreux-Fauville Air Base

French Air Force’s first of the two ALSR “Vador” (Vader) light surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft has arrived at the -Fauville Air Base on August 6.

The new ALSR (Avions légers de surveillance et de reconnaissance, “light surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft”) aircraft will be operated by the Air Force (Armée de l’air)’s Airborne Electronic Warfare Squadron 1/54 “Dunkirk” (Escadron électronique aéroporté 1/54 Dunkerque, EEA 00.054 Dunkerque) based at Évreux-Fauville Air Base (Base aérienne 105 Évreux or BA 105).

“This is a real asset for the Air Force. A discreet, flexible tool with multiple particularly effective interception capabilities”, adds Lieutenant-Colonel Édouard, Squadron Commander.

DGA (Direction générale de l’armement, “Directorate General of Armaments”), the country’s defense procurement agency, received the first ALSR aircraft on July 31.

The ALLR system is composed of a Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft and various equipment for carrying out intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) missions. The two aircraft was ordered in June 2016 from Sabena Technics and Thales.

The ALSR is capable of performing intelligence missions with a small logistical footprint and great ease of deployment. The ALSR will be implemented by the Air Force for the benefit of French military intelligence. They will be complementary to other means of intelligence gathering (such as drones, Rafale fighter aircraft, Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft, etc.).

The 2019-2025 Military Programming Law (LPM) provides for a fleet of eight ALSRs by 2030. As part of the defense component of the aeronautical support plan, the order for the third ALSR will be anticipated with a view to delivery advanced to 2023 instead of 2027 as initially planned.

Main features of the ALSR system:

+ Wing span: 17 m
+ Length: 14 m
+ Height: 4.3 m
+ Engine: 2 x Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A

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