Parrot was chosen by the French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) to supply its ANAFI USA micro-drones to the French Armed Forces.
These micro-drones will equip the three French armed services – the Army, Air Force and the Navy – and will be intended for reconnaissance and intelligence missions by both for conventional forces and for special forces. These systems can be carried by infantry troops deployed in operations, aboard French Navy vessels, or for the protection of military sites. The first deliveries are expected next June.
The DGA chose Parrot as part of a European call for tenders launched in February 2020. The five-year contract provides for the delivery of several hundred drone systems and additional equipment, training of pilots, as well as the possibility of adaptive developments. It is expected that orders will be placed each year, the experience feedback acquired by the end of 2021 then making it possible to specify the target of orders and the delivery rates.
At the end of the five years of the framework agreement, the distribution targeted is 60% for the French Army (Armée de Terre), 28% for the French Navy (Marine nationale) and 12% for the French Air and Space Force (Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace).
Henri Seydoux, Chairman, CEO, founder and main shareholder of Parrot concludes: “We are very proud to have won this tender from the DGA and to keep working on further opportunities with the USA. It is the fruit of the meticulous work carried out by our teams in France for more than 2 years, and that of 10 years of expertise. By taking the bet of developing the ANAFI platform, designed for the general public, ruggedized for the needs of professionals, and secured for the requirements of the military forces, we have taken an important step for the Group. In today’s world, Parrot is convinced that it is key for security forces, and armies, to rely on powerful, high-tech consumer equipment that is highly secure.”
The selected drone ANAFI USA is specially adapted for worldwide forces, offers soldiers a micro-drone of 500 grams with day and night observation capabilities. With a flight time of 32 minutes, it has the best performance in its category.
ANAFI USA will extend the reconnaissance capabilities of the French forces. Thanks to its powerful 32x zoom, articulated around two 4K 21-megapixel cameras, the detection of person-sized targets is possible up to 2km away with a detail accuracy of 13cm. The zoom images are merged with those obtained by the FLIR Boson thermal imaging camera; the latter allows the detection of hot spots by day and by night. Deployable in 55 seconds, it is also very discreet: with a sound signature of 79 dB at a distance of 1m, it is inaudible from 130m.
Thanks to the technological partnerships implemented by Parrot with leading players in their fields, users can also benefit from the growing ecosystem of compatible software. For example, they can manage drone fleets in real time (Skyward, A Verizon company and DroneSense), generate visible and thermal photos/videos (Survae) and tactical maps (Pix4Dreact). Parrot’s R&D services are also planned to further adapt ANAFI USA to the needs of the French forces.
ANAFI USA also meets the DGA requirements in terms of security. Securing the connection, securing the data, securing the firmware: it meets the most stringent cybersecurity standards. A digital signature protects against malicious attempts to modify the drone’s software. The drone allows mission data to be recorded only on the ground segment, not in the air vector, extracted afterwards for analysis, by physical connection. ANAFI USA has a secure WPA2 connection and open protocols that guarantees confidence in the interoperability of recorded data for confidential missions.
ANAFI USA is entirely developed in France and produced in the United States. No essential components are produced in China.
The drone and its piloting application operate without requiring internet access. Data processing is subject to the strictest standards of the GDPR (General Regulations on Data Protection). All drone data is fully under the control of the user. When it is shared, the data is stored on secure servers in Europe. The FreeFlight 6 piloting application, audited by the private company Bishop Fox, world-renowned for its offensive security services, also confirms the security offered to users and the protection of their data.
ANAFI USA has also been selected by U.S Federal Government partner organizations as part of the project Blue sUAS. It is the only drone from a non-American drone manufacturer to be commercialized on the purchase platform of the American Defense, Government Agencies and Security Forces: the GSA Schedule. It is already ordered and in use by numerous Police Departments, Federal Agencies and Firefighters in the United States and in several other countries around the world.
Parrot’s prototype was also a finalist in the U.S Department of Defense’s Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) program Tranch I. The Government will continue to independently evaluate the Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) success metrics and provide a separate notification, which could potentially allow other Department of Defense (DoD) or Federal Government agencies to enter into potential future procurement.