Aarok MALE Drones: Franco-Ukrainian Collaboration for Next-Gen Airpower

In a pivotal move that marks a substantial step forward in unmanned aerial technology, French company Turgis & Gaillard has joined forces with Ukraine’s Antonov to produce the Aarok MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) drone. This collaborative project not only signifies a strategic alliance between France and Ukraine but also promises to introduce a powerful new asset to Ukraine’s military arsenal.

Aarok MALE Drone

Technical Specifications

General Features:

• Maximum Speed: 463 km/h
• Endurance: Up to 30 hours
• Payload: Up to 1,500 kg
• Operational Versatility: No need for prepared infrastructure

Aarok MALE Drone

Advanced Capabilities:

• Sensor Suite: Can be equipped with optoelectronic cameras, multi-mode radar, and radio reconnaissance systems.
• Weapon Systems: Capable of carrying the high-precision AASM Hammer air-to-ground weapon from Safran, boasting a 35 km range.

The Scale: A Comparative Analysis

Aarok MALE Drone

Aarok MALE Drone:

• Wingspan: 22 meters
• Length: 14 meters
• Maximum Take-off Weight: 5500 kg

MQ-9 Reaper (For Comparison):

• Wingspan: 20 meters
• Length: 11 meters
• Maximum Take-off Weight: 4500 kg

The Aarok MALE outclasses its American counterpart, the MQ-9 Reaper, in size, providing a larger framework for expanded operational capabilities.

Performance Specifications

• Maximum Speed: 463 km/h
• Endurance: Up to 30 hours
• Maximum Altitude: 9144 meters
• Engine: Aircraft gas turbine
• Chassis: Reinforced for use at unequipped airfields

Strategic Implications

The Aarok MALE drone will be exclusively produced for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, offering a formidable addition to its aerial capabilities. The drone’s impressive specs indicate a significant advancement over existing platforms like the MQ-9 Reaper, enabling more robust and flexible mission profiles.

Development and Timeline

• Agreement Date: September 28
• Potential Launch: Likely to take off in Ukraine next year, according to Fanny Turgis, President and Founder of Turgis & Gaillard.

While the timeline remains unspecified, both French and Ukrainian stakeholders will deliberate on the industrial and operational aspects, such as the drone’s assembly location and the selection of equipment from both nations.


The Franco-Ukrainian Aarok MALE drone project embodies an innovative approach to military collaboration and technology. By uniting France’s cutting-edge UAV technology with Ukraine’s aerospace expertise, the Aarok drone is set to become a cornerstone of Ukraine’s future airpower strategy, providing an unmatched capability in surveillance, reconnaissance, and strike missions.

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