Spain Inks €495 Million Deal for Airbus SIRTAP Drones

Spain has signed a significant deal with Airbus for the procurement of 27 SIRTAP tactical unmanned aerial systems (UAS) valued at approximately €495 million ($543 million). The contract, signed with the Spanish Ministry of Defence, includes nine systems, each comprising three UAS vehicles and one ground control station. The drones are expected to enter service in 2026, challenging Airbus’s prototype completion target of 2025.

The acquisition aims to modernize Spain’s airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, replacing Israeli-made Spanish Army Searcher MkII aircraft. Airbus reports that the SIRTAP UAS has a payload capacity exceeding 150 kilograms, a range beyond 2,000 kilometers, and an endurance of over 20 hours. Designed for ISR over land and sea, the drones can operate from short or unprepared runways for day and night operations.

The SIRTAP deal aligns with Spain’s efforts to enhance its ISR drone capabilities, complementing the existing fleet of US-designed Predator drones. Airbus anticipates that the SIRTAP program will contribute to national industry ambitions, particularly in the development of Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/SCAF Remote Carriers, supporting sixth-generation combat jets.

Additionally, Airbus is in discussions with Colombia regarding a potential SIRTAP order, and Serbia has expressed interest in the aircraft. Formalization of binding contractual agreements with these countries is still pending.

The strategic partnership with Airbus positions Spain to bolster its national sovereignty through advanced tactical UAS capabilities, reinforcing its commitment to technological advancements in the defense sector.

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