Turgis & Gaillard’s recent unveiling of the Aarok medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the Paris Air Show 2023 marks a significant milestone in the field of defense technology. The Aarok UAV is poised to become a versatile and affordable alternative to existing platforms, offering a range of capabilities that cater to the evolving needs of both French and allied forces. The Aarok UAV has been developed as a cost-effective solution without compromising on performance. It addresses the demand for a more affordable MALE UAV option while meeting the stringent requirements of defense forces. By providing a multirole platform, the Aarok UAV offers flexibility in conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, as well as high-intensity strike operations and acting as a critical communications node on the battlefield.
With a maximum take-off weight of nearly 5,500 kg, the Aarok UAV exhibits exceptional carrying capacity. It can transport up to 3,000 kg, including 1,500 kg of armaments, allowing for a diverse range of mission profiles. The UAV’s compatibility with various payloads, such as Safran’s Euroflir 610 electro-optical sensor, Armement Air-Sol Modulaire precision-guided munitions, and a wide selection of multirole radars, electronic warfare sensors, and anti-tank missiles, further amplifies its operational capabilities. Turgis & Gaillard plans to conduct the Aarok UAV’s maiden flight in the autumn of 2023, with a goal of achieving full operational readiness by 2025. The company’s commitment to delivering a reliable and efficient system underscores its dedication to meeting customer demands and providing cutting-edge defense solutions. Additionally, the Aarok UAV’s high modularity allows for future upgrades and advancements, ensuring that it remains relevant and adaptable in the face of evolving threats and operational requirements.
It is noteworthy that the Aarok UAV has been developed as a self-funded project, highlighting Turgis & Gaillard’s investment in showcasing French capabilities. The platform has been designed to complement, rather than compete against, the Eurodrone, enabling a collaborative approach to defense innovation. This emphasis on collaboration underscores the commitment of French defense industries to deliver state-of-the-art technologies that enhance national and international security. The Aarok UAV boasts impressive performance specifications, making it a formidable asset for defense forces. With a wingspan of 22 meters, a cruising speed of 287 mph, and a cruising altitude of 30,000 ft, it possesses the capability to operate effectively in diverse environments and fulfill a wide range of mission requirements. The Aarok UAV’s robust performance characteristics ensure its suitability for both conventional and asymmetrical warfare scenarios.
Turgis & Gaillard’s introduction of the Aarok MALE UAV heralds a new era in unmanned aerial systems, offering enhanced affordability, versatility, and cutting-edge technology. With its extensive payload options, strategic timeline, and modularity, the Aarok UAV showcases the ingenuity and expertise of French defense industries. As it progresses towards operational readiness, this state-of-the-art platform promises to fortify defense capabilities, improve situational awareness, and contribute significantly to the security of France and its allies. Established in 2011 as a specialized consulting firm focused on technological innovation for the benefit of the armed forces (Gerfaut, NITRATHE, MIGALe programs…), Turgis & Gaillard has gradually diversified its activities into operational maintenance. Today, it is a group consisting of seven companies, serving as a supplier to the French and allied armies and as a subcontractor to major players in the aerospace, space, and defense sectors. Over the course of ten years, Turgis & Gaillard has grown from a team of two individuals to over 300 employees spread across nine locations in France, and its capital has increased from one hundred euros to over 50 million euros in annual revenue.