> our title:

French UAV Unit in Mali Logs 1,000 Hours

> original title:

Mali: 1000 Flight Hours for the Harfang Detachment

(Source: French Defence Staff; issued March 21, 2013)

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

After Afghanistan and Libya, French air force Harfang UAVs have made a significant contribution to operations in Mali, where they flew over 1,000 hours in more than 50 sorties. (FR MoD photo)

During the night of March 15-16, 2013, the Harfang detachment flew its thousandth flight hour in support of Operation Serval.

Deployed since January 17 in support of the French operations in Mali, the Harfang detachment of Drone Squadron 1/33 “Belfort” logged over one thousand flight hours, by day and night, in less than two months.

The Harfang drone accompanied the French forces who liberated Douentza and supported Special Forces operations as well as airborne troops over Timbuktu. It provided a decisive contribution to the troops engaged in the reconquest of northern Mali, in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains.

Making a substantial contribution to the collection of information in theater through its sensors and its persistence in the area, Harfang also used its detection capabilities to help the aircraft of the French air force and Marine Nationale to acquire and engage enemy targets.

Thanks notably to its onboard laser illuminator, drone crews also guided precision bombs fired by other vectors to their target

Thus in 1000 flying hours, the Harfang detachment was engaged in all phases of operation Serval, and throughout the entire operational theater.

In over fifty sorties, it covered a broad spectrum of operational missions, and thus contributed significantly to the tactical success of operation Serval.