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Italy to acquire Leonardo Astore armed drones

Source: Leonardo

The Italian government has sought parliamentary approval to purchase four Leonardo Astore armed unmanned aerial systems and two ground stations for its air force.

 

The Astore, an evolution of the well-known Falco EVO drone, is equipped with Turkish-made 70mm Cirit laser-guided missiles. This acquisition is considered urgent to bridge the gap until the MQ-9A Block 5 drones enter service in 2025.

 

 

The Italian Air Force recently received the first of two ordered MQ-9A Block 5 drones and plans to upgrade five currently in-service MQ-9A Block 1 drones to the same configuration. The Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) is expected to significantly enhance combat capabilities. It will be armed with various types of missiles, in line with Italy’s defensive plans for the coming years.

 

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The Astore has a similar maximum takeoff weight to the Falco, at 650 kg. With the addition of two beams under its wings, the new drone can carry a payload of up to 70 kg. The Astore’s flight duration is 16 hours, and its operational range exceeds 200 km, making it a versatile asset for the Italian military.

 

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