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EADS Harfang


Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)


France | 2008



"Based on the Israeli Heron, the French EADS Harfang UAV have already seen considerable service over Afghanistan, Libya and Mali."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/22/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
As with many other European powers, the French have fielded only a limited fleet of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) systems to date with a few indigenous, in-development products still in the works. In 1995, the French Air Force committed to the Israeli-born IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) RQ-5 "Hunter", a prop-driven, unarmed data-collecting air vehicle also endorsed by the United States military. Finding its services useful, French Air Force interest piqued when IAI unveiled its popular "Heron" during 1999. The Heron went on to stock the inventories of several military powers including Israel, India, Germany, Brazil and Turkey. The French Air Force then selected the Heron as its next UAV commitment and, with help from IAI, developed a customized Heron-based solution that became the EADS-sponsored "Harfang". First flight of the new vehicle was on September 9th, 2006 with an introduction in June of 2008. Only four units were procured in all.

The Harfang is categorized as a "Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance" (MALE) UAV giving it the necessary altitude and range capabilities required for French Air Force operations. As with other UAVs of this class, the Harfang is a remotely-controlled offering utilizing a Ground Control Station (GCS) driven by an operator. The Harfang features a centralized fuselage nacelle housing avionics, mission payload, engine and fuel while its wheeled undercarriage restrict operations to prepared surfaces such as runways. Unlike American Predator UAVs (and similar), the Harfang is not armed and instead used for the reconnaissance/data-collecting role through specialized equipment fitted to the belly/chin areas. This very useful information garnered is then interpreted by ground commanders. The Harfang has a twin-boom configuration with straight wing appendages, very similar in form and function as the Heron while power is served through a single Rotax 914 F series turbocharged engine driving a two-bladed propeller in a "pusher" configuration at the rear of the fuselage nacelle.

Manufactured by Malat of Israel, the Harfang is managed through EADS in France.

The Harfang's first notable service was in 2007 where it provided security for the Pope's visit to France. It was then deployed in the Afghanistan Theater in support of the French commitment. Harfangs were also in play during the 2011 Libyan Civil War and have been pressed into service most recently with the French military over Mali against Islamic radicals - driving home the need for more capable UAV systems in the French inventory.

It is said that, as of 2013, the French Air Force has moved to procuring the armed General Atomics MQ-9 "Reaper" series of originating in the United States to replace the outgoing fleet of Harfangs. Training of French Reaper pilots began in late 2013 and the first vehicles have already been delivered to French forces. The Harfangs may then, in turn, be sold to the Moroccan Air Force for extended service lives.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the EADS Harfang Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
1 x Rotax 914F turbocharged engine developing 115 horsepower.
Propulsion
129 mph
207 kph | 112 kts
Max Speed
24,934 ft
7,600 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
621 miles
1,000 km | 540 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the EADS Harfang Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
1
(MANNED)
Crew
30.5 ft
9.30 m
O/A Length
54.5 ft
(16.60 m)
O/A Width
1,455 lb
(660 kg)
Empty Weight
2,756 lb
(1,250 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the EADS Harfang Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) .
None. Payload made primarily of sensors, optics and communications equipment.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the EADS Harfang family line.
Eagle 0 - Base Prototype Designation
Eagle 1 - Initial production model designation
Eagle MPR - Navalized variant of Eagle 1
Eagle 2 - Enlarged version of the Eagle 1 model with American Pratt & Whitney PT6 turbopropeller arrangement.
Harfang - Alternative designation
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the EADS Harfang. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 4 Units

Contractor(s): EADS - Netherlands / Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) - Israel
National flag of France

[ France ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (129mph).

Graph Average of 113 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
4
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
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1 / 1
Image of the EADS Harfang
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
UNMANNED
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The EADS Harfang Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) appears in the following collections:
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