Falco EVO, the longest-endurance version of Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s successful Falco unmanned air system (UAS), has been selected by two customers in the Middle East and Gulf region. A surveillance and intelligence-gathering platform, the Falco EVO can fly for up to 20 hours, carrying a payload of up to 100 kg. With access to a range of advanced sensors, including the newly-launched Leonardo Osprey radar, the Falco EVO’s new users will be able to conduct persistent missions such as stand-off target detection, classification, identification and shadowing.
The Falco has been an export success story for Leonardo, gaining five international customers and seeing more than 50 air vehicles operating around the world. One of those customers is the United Nations, to whom Leonardo provides Falco services in support of its humanitarian MONUSCO mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some customers have bought the Falco platforms and operate them independently, while others like the UN have purchased a managed service where Leonardo flies the vehicles and delivers intelligence directly to the customer.
A suite of Leonardo’s latest generation sensors can be fitted to the Falco and Falco EVO, including radar options such as the Gabbiano 20 multi-mode surveillance radar, the PicoSAR AESA (E-Scan) radar or the newly launched Osprey multi-mode AESA radar. The Falco can carry the electronic warfare SAGE system, gaining the ability to geo-locate potentially hostile ground-based radars with just a single unmanned aircraft. Customers can also select third-party sensor fits if required.
Existing Falco vehicles can be converted to Falco EVO models via a retrofit package which adds the longer wings and tailbooms, allowing the unmanned aircraft to fly at an altitude of 6,000 meters while providing an operating range of more than 200 kilometres in line of sight.