The Sperwer (Pronounced Spehr-wuhr, Dutch for Sparrowhawk) is a 3-meter-long unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by the French firm SAGEM. The aircraft is piloted remotely and can cruise at altitudes of over 16,000 feet for as long as five hours. It can send back images of targets up to 150 kilometers from its operators on the ground.
The Sperwer is currently in service with the French Army (61e régiment d'artillerie), the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Swedish Air Force, United States Air National Guard, Hellenic Army (Greece) with the Netherlands in the process of removing them from front line use.
Canadian Forces operated the Sperwer in Afghanistan between 2003 and its last mission on 18 April 2009 when it was replaced with the Israeli built IAI Heron.
The Royal Danish Army also bought Sperwer, but a series of problems forced the Ministry of Defence to cancel the programme and sell the remainder to Canada. As well the Danish Army no longer operate any aircraft and there are no plans for UAVs by the Royal Danish Air Force. Canada itself removed the Sperwers from front-line use in 2009, while the Netherlands was planning to phase its Sperwer drones out of front line use in March 2009 in favor of rented UAVs from Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd.
- Canadian Forces. Designated CU-161 in service; retired.
- Danish Army. Programme cancelled.
- French Army. In service with three more ordered and an option on another five, all with enhanced sensors.
- Hellenic Army. In service.
- Royal Netherlands Air Force. Retired.
- Swedish Army. Designated UAV01 Ugglan (the Owl) in service; retired.
- United States
- Air National Guard.
Aircraft on display
Six of the retired Sperwers can be found in Canadian museums:
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