Harfang Flying over Libya

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The drones are operated on 15 hour missions, directly from Sicily via satellite link. Photo: EMA, Armée de l'Air

In the past two weeks France has been deploying its medium altitude, long endurance ‘Harfang’ drones over Libya, operating from Sigonella air base in Sicily. Harfang was transferred from Afghanistan to support the Libyan theater of operation.

The drones are operated on 15 hour missions, directly from Sicily via satellite link. Photo: EMA, Armée de l'Air

It was first deployed over Libya August 18, 2011. Harfang was produced by a partnership between Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and EADS. It was delivered to the French Air Force in 2008 and has been operational since January 2009 in the Afghan theater.

The drones are operated on 15 hour missions, directly from Sicily via satellite link. According to Lt. Col. Sebastian Mazoyer, squadron commander of the 1 / 33 ‘Belfort’ UAV unit. It is equipped with electro-optical and radar sensors, providing intelligence feeds day and night.

Operators at the Harfang ground control station in Sicily monitor the aircraft electro-optical and radar payloads over a satellite communications link. The data collected on the 15 hour mission provides live intelligence day and night. Photo: EMA / armée de l'Air