Italian mini-UAV deployed to Afghanistan for Herat airbase surveillance

“The owl”, is the name given to the STRIX-C, the small tactical remotely piloted aircraft (RPV) that the provides surveillance of the base in Afghanistan that hosts the 2,500 men and women of the multinational contingent of Regional Command West.

Indeed, “Camp Arena”, Herat airbase, is guarded by the mini-UAV operated by the Italian Air Force Riflemen (“Fucilieri dell’Aria”) of the 16° Stormo (Wing) whose task is to provide Force Protection for the contingent in theater.

The drone is used to observe every movement around the base, even and especially at night. Only 8 kg in weight and completely portable, the 3-meter wide UAV is powered by an electric motor powered by two batteries, and can fly several hundred meters above the ground photographing, recording and transmitting “real time”  imagery to a FCS (Flight Control System) station from where two operators remotely control the drone.

The Strix-C, that has recently achieved the FOC (Full Operational Capability), is quiet and difficult to detect, that’s why it was used to secure the airport and the surroundings.

strix-c volo

Image credit: Italian Air Force

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.