The head of the DGA flew July 2 to the UnitedStates to meet executivesof General Atomics to gather information about the Predator B drone, aDGA official said.
The meeting with General Atomics was intended to provide informationon the Predator B, also known as the MQ-9 Reaper, which France isconsidering buying to meet a requirement for a medium-altitude,long-endurance (MALE) surveillance drone for Afghanistan.
DefenseMinister Hervé Morin told Reuters on Sept. 1 on the margins of aconference of the MEDEF employers organization that a decision would betaken in the autumn on acquiring a MALE UAV.
The Predator systemis seen as fitting the 600 million euro ($766.8 million) budget andcosting less than the Talarion Advanced UAV from EADS and the rival SDMproposed by Thales and Dassault Aviation.
EADS continues to fundits own work on the Talarion in the hopes France, Germany and Spainwill commit to development of the Advanced UAV program.
Thales and Dassault, meanwhile, hope France and Spain will pick their SDM, which is based on the Israeli-built Heron TP UAV.