> our title:

Mali: French Harfang UAVs Log 2,000 Flight Hours

> original title:

Mali: 2,000 Flight Hours for the Harfang Detachment

(Source: French air force; issued Sept. 4, 2013)

(Issued in French only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

Deployed in support of French operations in Mali since January 17, the Harfang detachment of the French air force’s 1/33 “Belfort” unmanned air vehicle squadron has logged 2,000 flight hours in seven months.

The Harfang detachment has taken part in all combat operations since France deployed to Mali. Providing a significant contribution to in-theater intelligence collection thanks to its sensors and its loitering capability, Harfang also used its detection capabilities to assist air force and naval aviation attack aircraft to acquire enemy targets on the ground.

Using the drone’s laser illuminator, for example, Harfang crews precision-guided bombs launched by other aircraft onto their targets.

About 3,200 French military personnel are currently deployed in Mali, and are pursuing their mission to secure the nation’s territory by weakening terrorist groups, and to support the transfer of territory to foreign troops belonging to MINUSMA.