Spain to buy four US surveillance drones: defence ministry

August 6, 2015

Spain has decided to buy four Reaper surveillance drones, the defence ministry said Thursday, making it the fifth European nation to equip itself with the US-made devices.

The defence ministry budget for 2016, which was presented in parliament on Tuesday, sets aside 25 million euros ($27 million) to buy four reconnaissance drones and two ground stations.

The entire five-year drone programme has a budget of 171 million euros.

The defence ministry has selected the bid from privately owned US firm General Atomics, which has a teaming agreement with Spanish engineering firm Sener, to supply it with four Reaper drones, a ministry spokesman said.

"This type of equipment is necessary in operations today," he added.

The Reaper, which had a wingspan of 20 metres (66 feet), is already used by Britain, France and Italy and has been ordered by the Netherlands. The United States fly armed Reapers in combat zones but Spain only wants an unarmed version of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The European defence industry does not produce reconnaissance drones like the Reaper, which is capable of flying 24 hours non-stop and can reach a maximum altitude of 13,700 metres (45,000 feet).

Germany, France and Italy decided in May to spend 60 million euros on a technical study for a European drone project proposed by Airbus, France's Dassault and Italy's Alenia Aermacchi of the Finmeccanica group.

"The Spanish defence ministry is interested in the development of a European project," the spokesman added.

Explore further: 'Euro-drone' project gets lift-off to challenge US

Related Stories

'Euro-drone' project gets lift-off to challenge US

May 18, 2015

A European project to build a military drone by 2025 took wing on Monday as Germany, France and Italy signed a deal to start technical work and end their reliance on US- and Israeli-made models.

Activists attack French defence ministry website

January 6, 2015

Internet activists launched an attack on the website of the French defence ministry on Tuesday to protest the death of a young environmentalist during clashes with police last year.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.