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Leonardo Falco Xplorer

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Italy | 2023

"The Leonardo Falco Xplorer, unveiled at Paris Air Show 2019, is the next iteration of the decades-old Falco UAV program."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/24/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Falco Xplorer is the third iteration of Leonardo's Falco Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) line. The product (in mockup form) was showcased at Paris Air Show 2019 and has an appearance more akin to the American General Atomics "Predator" line than the original Falco offering. The original form was followed by the Falco Evo which took on new, greater dimensions and a broader mission set. The Xplorer is a further evolution of this thinking, bringing about growing capabilities and improvements to performance.

The Xplorer marks Leonardo's largest UAV attempt to date.

As showcased, the Xplorer has a running length of 9 meters, a wingspan measuring 18.5 meters, and a height of 3.8 meters. With a payload capacity of 770lb of mission equipment and sensors, the MTOW reaches 2,600lb. A conventional engine is seated at the aft-end of the fuselage section, used to drive a multi-bladed propeller unit in pusher arrangement. This provides the Xplorer with a service ceiling up to 30,000 feet and a mission endurance window of approximately 24 hours - giving the system good "legs" in the air. SATellite COMmunications (SATCOM) will ensure Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLoS) capability.

Beyond this, the layout of the aircraft is traditional as UAVs go. The fuselage houses all pertinent operating systems including the engine, optics suite, and avionics suite. The nose has the usual bulbous appearance common to the Predator line. A simple, wheeled tricycle undercarriage is used for ground-running as the Xplorer requires the use of a runway for launching and landing. The wing mainplanes were straight-edged and capped by upward-cranked wing tips. The Tail unit incorporates a pair of outward-cranked vertical fins.

Onboard systems include a multi-function SAR radar fit, an Electro-Optical (EO) optics turret, and a complete SIGnals INTelligence (SIGINT) suite.

A first-flight involving the Xplorer is to be had before the end of 2019. The Italian Air Force has been mentioned as a potential military customer while the Xplorer will also be marketed to civilian industries as well.

The completed Xplorer package will include a Ground Control Station (GCS), Ground Data Terminal (GDT), Ground Support Segment (GSS), and two Falco Xplorer aircraft.

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June 2019 - The Falco Xplorer was debuted in mockup form at Paris Air Show 2019.

January 2020 - Leonardo recorded a first-flight with its new Falco Explorer UAV on January 15th, 2020. This occurred from the Italian Air Force's Trapani Air Base.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Leonardo Falco Xplorer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
1 x Conventionally-powered engine driving a multi-bladed propeller unit at the rear of the fuselage in pusher configuration.
30,003 ft
9,145 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Leonardo Falco Xplorer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
29.5 ft
9.00 m
O/A Length
60.7 ft
(18.50 m)
O/A Width
12.5 ft
(3.80 m)
O/A Height
2,601 lb
(1,180 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Leonardo Falco Xplorer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) .
None. Proposed with payload capacity reaching 350 kilograms.
Notable series variants as part of the Leonardo Falco Xplorer family line.
Falco Xplorer - Base Series Name.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Leonardo Falco Xplorer. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Leonardo-Finmeccanica - Italy
National flag of Italy

[ Italy (possible) ]
1 / 2
Image of the Leonardo Falco Xplorer
Image from official Leonardo marketing material.
2 / 2
Image of the Leonardo Falco Xplorer
Image from official Leonardo press release.

Going Further...
The Leonardo Falco Xplorer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) appears in the following collections:
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