French MOD Receives First ALSR Light Surveillance and Reconnaissance Aircraft

French defense procurement agency DGA received the first of the two ALSR light surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft on July 31.

The ALSR (Avions légers de surveillance et de reconnaissance, “light surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft”) system is composed of a Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft and various equipment for carrying out intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) missions.

The two aircraft is intended for the French Air Force and was ordered in June 2016 from Sabena Technics and Thales.

The ALSR is capable of performing intelligence missions with a small logistical footprint and great ease of deployment. The ALSR will be implemented by the Air Force for the benefit of French military intelligence. They will be complementary to other means of information gathering (such as drones, Rafale fighter aircraft, Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft, etc.).

The 2019-2025 Military Programming Law (LPM) provides for a fleet of eight ALSRs by 2030. As part of the defense component of the aeronautical support plan, the order for the third ALSR will be anticipated with a view to delivery advanced to 2023 instead of 2027 as initially planned.

Main features of the ALSR system:

+ Wing span: 17 m
+ Length: 14 m
+ Height: 4.3 m
+ Engine: 2 x Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A