In June 1997 the French Army Headquarters decided to acquire from Thomson-CSF, system and program leader, and TechnoSud Industries, aerial vehicle designer, a Vigilant F2000 M helicopter UAV system, in order to assess, in the field, the advantages of the very short range UAV concept and its reconnaissance and scouting capacities in aid of armoured units. This decision followed a successful French Army / Thomson-CSF preliminary joint evaluation compaign which took place at Mourmelon, a test field located in Champagne. The trials proved the high reliability of the system, in addition to its technical and operational abilities. The delivered system includes a ground control station and one or two unmanned helicopters equipped with a panoramic camera and a pan/tilt zoom camera.The same system, under the responsibility of Thomson-CSF, had carried out several demonstration flights in France and foreign countries, in particular in Germany for the Luna program. It raised interest in many military, paramilitary and civilian organizations which consider its use for various missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance and observation of dangerous or difficult to reach areas.
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