The Spanish Ministry of Defense has signed an agreement with Airbus for high-performance SIRTAP drones worth 495 million euros ($539 million).
According to a company press release, nine systems will be delivered to the country’s army, air force, and space force to support various missions.
Each system will consist of three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and a ground control station. Madrid will also receive two simulators to train Spanish SIRTAP operators.
La secretaria de Estado de Defensa #SEDEF @AmparoValcarce1 ha presidido la firma del contrato con @AirbusDefence para la adquisición del sistema aéreo remotamente tripulado táctico de altas prestaciones -SIRTAP- por un importe cercano a los 495 M. €. Su entrada en servicio en… pic.twitter.com/0fXY5IJLtm
— Ministerio Defensa (@Defensagob) November 29, 2023
Airbus military air systems head Jean-Brice Dumont said the drones will reinforce Spain’s national sovereignty amid increasing threats in the region.
“SIRTAP will be fully developed in Spain, integrating national capabilities. However, thanks to its versatility and the use of ITAR-free components, we also expect it to play a key role on the international market,” Dumont said.
Reports about Madrid procuring the tactical platforms surfaced as early as July, but the announced value during that time was 595 million euros ($656 million).
Bolstering ISR Fleet
According to Airbus, the SIRTAP is a high-end UAV capable of carrying up to 150 kilograms (330 pounds) of payload.
It has an endurance of over 20 hours and can fly up to 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) at an altitude of 21,000 feet (6,400 meters).
Furthermore, the system can be equipped with guided and conventional weapons to support combat missions.
“Designed to fly under the toughest environmental and operational conditions, the UAS will be certified to fly in the segregated airspace and pursue civil operations,” Airbus stated on its website.
The SIRTAPs will operate alongside Spain’s US-made Predator drones to enhance the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities of its military.