MADRID — Thales has been awarded a contract by a Malaysian shipbuilder to build six UAV Fulmar UAVs. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will be the final client and will use the remotely piloted aircraft on board for surveillance, reconnaissance and border control of borders missions, industry sources said. of the industry told Defense News.

At the request of the customer, Thales has not publicly announced the deal.

This is the first export of the Fulmar, which is classified in the mini-UAV category.segment. Fulmar is completely designed and built in Spain by the Spanish branch of Thales. The UAV Its size is 3.1 meters long and weighs 19 kilograms, can fly at an it flies to the altitude of 3,000 meters and can achieve a speed of 150 kilometers per hour.

Fulmar It has a range of eight hours of endurance due to a low fuel consumption and can fly  of the aircraft in flight as a result of its aerodynamic design, and it can fly 800 kilometers without refueling. According to sources close to the negotiations, Fulmar mini-UAV beat the ScanEagle (Boeing Insitu); the Bat (Northrop Grumman); and Aerosonde Mark 4.7 (Textron Systems) to gain the contract. The value has not been revealed, yet, but industry sources said of the industry told Defense News a UAV Fulmar could cost US $1.1 million.

"Its dual use makes it a very versatile solution for both civil uses [traffic control, surveillance of rail lines, tracking fish stocks, surveillance of critical infrastructure like gas pipelines, oil facilities, etc.] and military use," a Thales executive engineer said. focused.

Fulmar works with a catapult-based launcher system and net landing capability. It is available for use with a variety of fuel types such as diesel oil, JP8 and JP5, approved for use on combat ships.

The Spanish branch of Thales is trying to push the use of Fulmar by at the Military Emergencies Unit and the Naval Infantry Force of the Spanish armed forces. For that reason Thales expects to build 25 Fulmars in two years.