This year 2024 will mark a turning point for Novadem with a record acquisition of 260 NX70 drones by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. The objective here is to increase the capacity of NX70 drones within the forces, thus bringing to more than 440 the total number of drones ordered from Novadem since 2018.This new order from the Aeronautical Maintenance Directorate (DMAé) is the largest placed with Novadem in the last five years, all customers combined. This new order from the Aeronautical Maintenance Directorate (DMAé) is the largest placed with Novadem in the last five years, all customers combined.

Some history

The history of the NX70 in the French Army begins with an emergency operation carried out by the DGA in 2018 to meet an operational need in the Sahel-Saharan zone, which resulted in a first delivery of 40 drones a few months later, immediately deployed in external operations. The reality on the field will quickly demonstrate the need for the micro-drone segment for a wide range of missions. Thus, France will quickly complete the fleet with two new acquisitions conducted between 2019 and 2021 to bring the total number of drones to 155 units. Building on these successes, Novadem teams have benefited from feedback from the field to continue developments and propose a new standard, Block 2.2, which becomes the modernized production version of the NX70 systems.

In 2023, the EMAT (Army General Staff) has chosen to reposition its fleet of NX70 drones and will take advantage of logistical movements, during the evolution of France’s position in the African zone, to carry out a massive retrofit operation of the NX70s. This operation, coordinated by the DMAé, made it possible to bring all the NX70 systems already delivered to the latest standard, Block 2.2, and thus improve their night capacity by replacing the thermal sensor for the oldest systems. The fleet thus becomes homogeneous and has the same performance.

A historic order

At the beginning of 2024, while the retrofit operations are well advanced, Novadem receives the largest order in its history to increase the French fleet of NX70 to more than 440 drones. These systems will be delivered over the period 2024 and 2025. In addition to the drone systems, NXWIRE cable power stations will supplement those already present in the forces to provide uninterrupted flight capacity for continuous surveillance missions.

We are proud to demonstrate, through these repeated and constantly growing acquisitions by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, that the NX70 drone systems have met the most demanding needs of the French forces over the long term. Yes, a micro-drone can be maintained and modernized and thus densify an existing fleet of more than 4 years without compromising human factors such as training and maintaining the skills of operators.

Pascal ZUNINO, CEO and Co-founder of Novadem

New industrial challenges

This historic order is accompanied by production challenges in order to meet the needs of the forces for delivery within short deadlines. Thus, Novadem is deploying a new production line thanks to an extension of its premises in Aix-en-Provence and an accelerated recruitment plan. This is a new step that is being taken by the teams and allows the scaling up to be tested, essential to enter a war economy model requested by the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

Production line of NX70 drones in Novadem
NX70 drones production line in NOVADEM workshops