French Foreign Legion paradrop over Timbuktu, Mali. As seen from a drone.

Jan 28 2013 - 5 Comments
By Richard Clements

The following video shows a French Foreign Legion (2e régiment étranger de parachutistes – 2eREP) paradrop into Timbuktu, Mali, from a C-160 Transal airlifter of the French Air Force.

C160 Timbuktu

It was taken on Jan. 28, from the Infra-Red camera of a Harfang drone, supporting Operation Serval from Niger.

The Harfang drones are the only French UAVs reportedly operating in West Africa. These ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) platforms are about to be supported by a RAF Sentinel R1 deployed in Senegal.

The Sentinel will be extremely important in Mali, maybe more than it was in Libya. The aircraft is the air segment of the Airborne STand-Off Radar (ASTOR) system, uses a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery and Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) to detect and track enemy ground forces. With a Dual Mode Radar similar to the U-2s ASARS, the Sentinel will be able to provide French forces with data relating to the rebels movements as it did in Libya pinpointing Gaddafi’s forces.

Written with David Cenciotti

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  • mandb

    That appeared to be 5 x Transal and 1 x C-130.


    Very cool. Thanks for posting.

  • Otto

    Yeah, definitely a Herc in the mix, Who’s got Herc;s there? The Italians? I don’t think the French have them

    • cencio4

      The French also have C-130s

  • Clerval

    Obviously the C130 dispensed with two of its engines on the way to the drop zone.