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Sirtap drone. Image: Airbus

Spain Approves Purchase of Domestic Military Drones

Sirtap drone. Image: Airbus

The Spanish government has given the green light for the acquisition of 27 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) at an estimated cost of 595 million euros ($656 million).

The Airbus SiRTAP (Sistema RPAS Tactico de Altas Prestaciones) systems will be provided to both the Spanish Army and the Spanish Air and Space Force. Each system will consist of three aircraft, a ground control station, and data reception equipment. The purchase will also include simulators and initial logistical support.

The RPAS will replace the Israeli Searcher MkIIs currently used by the army and complement the air force’s US-made Predators. The SiRTAP program was initiated in 2015 and later joined by Colombia. Airbus Defence and Space’s Spanish division has designed the drone with a focus on substantial local content, and more Spanish and Colombian defense firms are expected to participate in the program.

Deliveries of the drones are anticipated to commence in 2026. The SiRTAP is a versatile aircraft with an endurance of over 20 hours and a flight ceiling of 21,000 feet (6,400 meters). It can carry a payload of up to 150 kilograms (330 pounds) and is capable of various combat and non-combat missions, including convoy escort, area surveillance, force protection, and signals, electronic, and communications intelligence.

Additionally, the aircraft’s collapsible wings and rotor enable convenient transportation by land and air, like on the Airbus C295 transport aircraft, which can accommodate two SiRTAPs in a single flight.