1,000th Flight of a German Reconnaissance Drone CL-289
(Source : EADS ; issued May 3, 2001)


FRIEDRICHSHAFEN/BERGEN, Germany---A German reconnaissance drone system of the type CL-289 was launched for the 1,000th time. This drone flight completed a training exercise of the Idar-Oberstein Drone Instruction Battery 300 and took place on the Bergen training range in Lower Saxony.

The mobile drone system CL-289 is supported and maintained by Dornier GmbH as the system company on behalf of NAMSA. Dornier GmbH is a corporate unit of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS). France and Germany have used the unmanned reconnaissance system since 1991-92.

Dr. Stefan Zoller, CEO of Dornier GmbH and Head of the Business Unit Defence Electronics: "The drones proved their reliability during the peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo. Our technicians from Friedrichshafen assisted all CL-289 operations during the whole mission in the crisis region. The accomplishment of this task confirms the good partnership between the Bundeswehr and the technical and logistic support by our system company."

In many missions, the drones provided impressive reconnaissance images of the crisis regions which were also shown by the media. The operations started in 1996 when France - in the scope of its IFOR tasks - sent one CL-289 battery to Mostar. One year later, this battery was superseded by a German one. In the whole period of three years, 226 missions were flown by all drone batteries (one French and 9 German batteries) in Bosnia.

While the mission in Bosnia was still in progress, another German CL-289 battery was transferred to Tetovo, Macedonia, in December 1998 in the scope of the KFOR mission. In the crucial phase of the conflict this battery flew four reconnaissance operations per day over a longer period. From December 1998 until the mission end in July 1999, as many as 237 operations were flown in Kosovo.

The logistic direct control method proved particularly successful during support. An Information Management System ensures the data exchange - e.g. for maintenance and spare parts - between the technicians in Friedrichshafen, the drone battery in the mission country and all Bundeswehr units involved. Thus, it was possible to deliver important spare parts within 24 hours from Germany to the mission site.

"This is an evidence for the good quality and reliability of our co-operation with all agencies involved. Thus, we have obtained a favourable basis for continuing to be a prime contractor for support, supply and development of all German and French drone systems", explains Johann Heitzmann, Member of the Executive Committee of Dornier GmbH and Vice-President of Airborne Systems.

The drone battery with all its components has been designed for mobile and autonomous operation. Its components are: ground system, launch equipment, video data acquisition system, landing facilities, as well as flight planning system, transport, maintenance and repair equipment. The missiles are equipped with two reconnaissance sensors: an optical camera and an infrared line scanner whose images can also be transmitted online to the ground station.

In order to satisfy the military leadership's continuously growing information needs, the Army is planning an upgrade of the reconnaissance system which is currently the only one to generate images. As part of an integrated reconnaissance environment together with the other reconnaissance means, CL-289 is planned to be used in crisis management and conflict prevention missions performed under the umbrella of the international community or NATO.

A first move in this direction was made at the beginning of this year when NAMSA, the NATO agency, awarded a contract to Dornier GmbH for equipping 140 drones with the software development programme AOLOS (ADA Operational Onboard Software).

Dornier GmbH is a corporate unit of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS). EADS was formed from the merger of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG, the French Aerospatiale Matra and the Spanish Construcciones Aeronáuticas (CASA) and is one of the world's three leading aerospace companies.

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