> our title:

First UAVs for Spanish Parachute Sappers

> original title:

First Unmanned Aircraft for EZAPAC

(Source: Spanish Air Force; issued Dec. 20, 2013)

(Issued in Spanish only; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

The Parachute Sapper Squadron (Escuadrón de Zapadores Paracaidistas, EZAPAC) is the second unit of the Spanish air force to operate such systems, after the Air Support and Deployment Squadron (EADA), and is the first and only unit of the special operations forces of our armed forces.

The unmanned aircraft delivered to EZAPAC, WASP-AE, is a micro-unmanned aircraft that is especially suited for this kind of operations, and that are particularly lightweight and small (1.2 kg weight and 1.02 meter wingspan). This allows it to be operated by a two-man team operating on foot, and to directly observe its objective with little probability of being detected, principally because of the low noise signature of its engine and its silhouette resembling a bird.

WASP-AE is interoperable with the RAVEN system operated by EADA, and can fly up to 5 kilometers from its operator, with a flight endurance of 50 minutes, and can provide imagery in both visible and infra-red frequencies.

On Dec. 18, the Spanish air force’s Logistical Air Command (MALOG) took delivery of the WASP AE unmanned aircraft in EZAPAC’s garrison. As an air force special operations unit, EZAPAC will be tasked with the development of tools and procedures necessary to carry out its missions, by integrating its air-to-ground capability for use in special operations.