ECA Group and Delair-Tech announce their technological and commercial partnership

Thursday, June 09 2016
Upon the occasion of Eurosatory, Delair-Tech, a designer of professional drone solutions, and ECA, a subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé, specialized in high-tech robotics, announced their partnership for the development of a tactical mini-drone specifically for the defense sector.

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The novel partnership of a French agency and an SME make it possible to combine agility and innovative capacity with a commercial network and expertise in the world-renowned defense sector.


A joint offer of a tactical mini-drone for the defense sector

Within the framework of their partnership, Delair-Tech and ECA are launching a joint offer of a long-endurance tactical mini-drone specifically for the defense sector.  The first product offered in this framework is the DT26M, a Mini-Drone Reconnaissance System, completely designed and produced in France. This observation drone can be deployed in less than 10 minutes from any theater of operation. Silent and discreet, it makes it possible to carry out reconnaissance missions within a 30 km radius of action. Its cutting-edge gyrostabilized turret gives it observation capabilities unequaled for this size drone.

Used both to ensure the security of a vehicle convoy as well as the success of the most complex land operations, the mini observation drones are indispensable tools for making tactical decisions on land.

The solution offered by Delair-Tech and ECA has long been proven under extreme conditions (desert, tropical, and mountainous climates, cold, dust, wind, etc.) This mini-drone, of composite materials weighing 15 kg, is capable of flying for 2-1/2 hours, and is equipped with visible cameras and infrared, making it possible, for example, to see humans up to 2.5 km away, or vehicles from up to 10 km away.

Video is transmitted in real time over a distance exceeding 30 km (a distance tested under difficult conditions) by a secured radio liaison. Advanced encrypting and "video-tracking" functions, formatting of video flows according to NATO standards, robustness and ease of deployment were also developed in order to meet the operational requirements on land in an optimal manner. 

The new ground station, being developed at the same time, meets the most recent requirements, and can both put fixed-wing Delair-Tech drones into operation as well as ECA's rotary-wing drones of type UAV IT180, already in service in the French armed forces. This ground station will in the end also make it possible to dispatch ECA robots, thus minimizing the logistical footprint (replacements, training, etc.) when activating robot systems within the armed forces.


A solution made in France

In addition to Delair-Tech and ECA, the industrial group is also bringing together SME and agency partners throughout the French territory: Bretagne, PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) and Midi-Pyrénées. It has made it possible to develop a solution, unique to the world, in an agile manner. Production chains have already been established in the region for controlling supply and quality, with a strong impact on employment. "This partnership marks a joint willingness to federate the French industrial ecosystem. It is the alliance of a solid and experienced agency and an SME who are full of agility and innovation, for the creation of a French international champion," stated Michael De Lagarde, the founder of Delair-Tech.


A partnership of high value-added expertise

Delair-Tech is contributing its experience in the civilian markets and thus is able to offer drones that are easy to operate, low-cost, and which benefit from numerous hours of flight on an international scale. ECA is contributing its know-how in the Defense sector in order to adapt the civilian technologies of Delair-Tech to military operational requirements.

"Our offer is solid, agile and economical. Solid, thanks to the recognized experience of ECA for 80 years now in the supply of defense solutions and their logistical support over several decades. Agile, because we are developing custom-made technologies for our customers and are imagining new applications. And lastly, economical, because we are working in extremely competitive sectors, and we know how to offer the best of technology, all while controlling costs," emphasized Guénaël Guillerme, the General Manager of ECA.

The mini-drone market of the DT26M type, for military use, has existed for several years, and numerous armed forces have already been equipped with them. This market has a volume comparable to that of the more recent rotary-wing Defense mini-drones of type IT180. By means of this partnership with Delair-Tech, the ECA group is thus aiming at a significant increase in its aerial drone business in the next few years.

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