One of the hot topics at this week’s Paris Air Show was the public debut of French Turgis & Gaillard company AAROK’s self-funded medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototype.
AAROK was originally conceived by the founders of Turgis & Gaillard as a UAV based not only on off-the-shelf components but also on French components, in order to satisfy the Gaulish preference to rely as much as possible on domestic defense production. Instead of trying to sell a new aircraft larger than the American Reaper to an established aerospace company, they decided to develop the aircraft independently.
Against French and allied forces, the propeller-driven AAROK has an endurance of more than 24 hours and can carry a 1.5-ton payload that includes reconnaissance gear, signals intelligence pods, electro-optical sensors, multi-mode radar, precision-guided munitions and air-to-ground missile.
According to Turgis & Gaillard, AAROK is suitable for maritime surveillance, operational leadership missions and as a battlefield communication node in the Indo-Pacific region. Its use of existing equipment and modular architecture will also speed up its certification.
“We are proud to launch our first remote-controlled aircraft prototype, the AAROK drone,” said Fanny Turgis, Turgis & Gaillard Group President. able to meet French and Allied requirements at a lower cost.”