French Defense Minister Jean - Yves Le Drian says his country is in talks with the Unites States and Israel to purchase surveillance drones in a bid to
enhance its military capabilities.
On Sunday, Le Drian said France should build up its capacity to make unmanned aircrafts, adding that, “We need this capacity in the short term. ” On May 17, a report published byAir et Cosmosspecialist magazine revealed that following a deal reached between Paris and Washington, France will buy two American medium - altitude Reaper drones to back up its military operations against fighters in the crisis - hit Mali. The report added that the French Air Force, which has already deployed Israeli - made armed unmanned drones to the West African nation, intends to acquire more modern drones rapidly. On May 18, the dailyLe Mondereported that Paris was considering purchasing a total of five or seven US - made unarmed Reaper surveillance drones at the cost of 300 million euros(USD 384.72 million). In February, a report published by theWorld Tribune indicated that the French military has used "Harfang" medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) drones manufactured by Israel in war-torn Mali. France launched its war on the resource-rich West African country in January under the pretext of fighting al-Qaeda-linked extremists. The French-led war on Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions.