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Leonardo (SELEX Galileo) Falco

Italy (2009)
Picture of Leonardo (SELEX Galileo) Falco Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The Italian Galileo FALCO UAV can be now be purchased as armed or unarmed depending on mission requirements.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Leonardo (SELEX Galileo) Falco Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Entry last updated on 6/21/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The SELEX Galileo Falco (meaning "Falcon") is another addition to the ever-growing list of modern Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) intended for military use. First flight of the Falco occurred in December of 2003 and, after additional testing and clearances, the Flaco was formally offered up for the market in 2009. To date, some 50 aircraft have been produced with the first (and only known) customer being Pakistan. The Pakistani military procured some two dozen Falcos since the UAVs inception and has fielded them operationally in activities centering on the Swat Valley. The Flaco is described as a "medium-class" UAV and, in its original base form, is intended solely for reconnaissance and surveillance - therefore not being armed in the same way as the American Predator or Reaper series. The series' main strengths are endurance and performance at altitude, allowing ground commanders a relatively inexpensive and lower risk "eye in the sky" when compared to the use of larger helicopters or aircraft in the same role. The Falco was originally managed by Galileo Avionica which has since formed with SELEX S&AS to come "SELEX Galileo". Before the Falco, SELEX provided high-end electronics and imaging systems to various defense parties. SELEX itself is the child of parent industrial powerhouse company Finmeccanica, founded in 1948 out of Rome.

Outwardly, the Falco mimics the clean streamlined profile of a high-end civilian sports aircraft. The fuselage is well-contoured and aerodynamically refined, sporting high-mounted monoplane wings that are straight in their design and slightly cranked downwards at near-mid span. From the wings emerge thin twin tail booms that mount the vertical tail fins and these are further joined at their base by a horizontal plane. The engine is housed within the aft fuselage and powers a three-bladed propeller assembly in a "pusher" arrangement. The undercarriage is fixed and consists of three landing gear legs, each sporting a single, shrouded wheel. Payloads are managed along the underbelly and can be varied according to operator needs (NBC sensor equipment, electronic countermeasures, thermal imaging, TV, radar, laser designators). Avionics are housed in the nose assembly. Power to the aircraft is supplied by an 80 horsepower engine allowing for top speeds of approximately 135 miles per hour with a service ceiling of 16,500 feet and operational range equal to 14 hours. The Falco is not a small machine by any regard and promotes a running length of 17 feet with a wingspan equal to 24 feet. When at rest, the Falco tops 6 feet in height requiring several hands to set her into place. The UAV can take off under its own power from a completed runway but has also since been tested with a pneumatic catapult launcher for improved in-the-field capabilities. It is assumed that the UAV can be recovered through some sort of erected netting system as well.

As with other UAVs, the Falco is just one component of a complete UAV package offered by its host company. The suite includes the UAV aircraft itself (or several as needed), the Ground Control Station (GCS) and all applicable supporting equipment including the pilot station and mission screens. Information is relayed to the GCS in real-time and full-color, allowing commanders to make quick decisions on-the-fly. Such UAVs as the Falco also hold an advantage in their relatively quiet performance and small profile, often times going unnoticed near concentrations of enemy personnel - as proven by American UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan. A later development effort has brought about the "Falco EVO" which intends to allow the fielding of guided munitions (2 x missiles underwing), extensively broadening the mission scope of this new Italian UAV. The Falco EVO will be dimensionally larger and perhaps more powerful to compensate for the revised battlefield role.

In May of 2013, it was announced that the Italian government has moved to procure the American RQ-7 Shadow UAV series due to critical operational requirements in the Afghanistan Theater. This serves as something of a blow to the Galileo UAV program and Italian defense industry as a whole where government contracts were historically guaranteed to Italian defense firms.

Any available statistics for the Leonardo (SELEX Galileo) Falco Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (134mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
50
50


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Origin: Italy
Year: 2009
Type: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Manufacturer(s): Leonardo-Finmeccanica (SELEX Galileo) - Italy
Production: 50
Global Operators:
Pakistan; Saudi Arabia
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Leonardo Falco model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
17.22 ft


Meters
5.25 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
23.62 ft


Meters
7.2 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
5.91 ft


Meters
1.8 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
926 lb


Kilograms
420 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Gasoline-fueled engine developing 65 to 80 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
134 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
216 kph


Knots
117 kts


Performance
CEILING


Feet
21,325 ft


Meters
6,500 m


Miles
4.04 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Armament - Hardpoints (2):

Usually none though two underwing hardpoints for guided munitions available with Falco EVO model. Base mission payload of up to 155lbs.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Falco - Base Series Designation
• Falco EVO - Improved Falco of larger size and provision for underwing stores.