The various wars of the early 2000s presented warplanners with a need for more-capable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and this ultimately led to considerable growth of a what was really already a veteran industry (unmanned systems were used in warfare as early as 1849 in Austria). As a result, there emerged a plethora of global players hoping to make their presence felt in the realm of unmanned aircraft systems, drones and autonomous flight.
The French-originated SAGEM "Patroller" is a part of this UAV explosion, born from the two-seat Stemme ASP 515 powered glider. The Patroller removes the need for physical human pilots but retains all of the form and function of the glider resulting in a very useful, logistically-friendly unmanned system for both civil and military markets. The system is approved for such mission types as Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), artillery spotting, peacekeeping/humanitarian aid and border protection. The mission payload exceeds 250 kilograms.
The Patroller is detailed as a tactical-level UAV and features a scalable architecture to better integrate with existing air command systems. A "see and avoid" module allow it to function in civilian airspace. The aircraft has been developed with inherent low-noise qualities as well as a reduced radar and heat signature to better operate in battle zones. Autonomous flight is possible and both landing and take-off actions can be handled automatically (as well as taxiing). As such, the aircraft can use traditional prepared runways.
Externally, the aircraft sports a tear-drop-like shape for its fuselage in which the forward section is noticeably bulbous. It houses the powerplant which includes a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose. The optics fit sits under the belly with a complete 360-degree view of the action under the aircraft. A tricycle undercarriage is featured. The wing mainplanes are straight and high-mounted along the fuselage sides, each underwing point able to carry a pod. The empennage begins at the rear of the fuselage and runs to the single tail fin which mounts the horizontal stabilizer.
Patroller is flight-capable for up to 20 hours and can operate at an altitude up to 20,000 feet reaching speeds of 200 kilometers per hour.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
28.0 ft (8.52 m)
59.1 ft (18.00 m)
8.0 ft (2.45 m)
1,653 lb (750 kg)
2,425 lb (1,100 kg)
+772 lb (+350 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the SAGEM Patroller R production variant)
1 x Rotax 914 F2 engine developing 113 horsepower while driving three-bladed propeller at the nose.
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