France has placed an order for a third General Atomics-built Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle under a foreign military sales agreement with the U.S. Air Force, the French defense ministry said Thursday.
The French government made the order through the country's directorate general of armaments and under a military program that aims to equip its air force with four Reapers by 2019.
France expects to receive its third reaper in 2019 and its second in 2016, the ministry said.
France agreed to purchase 16 Reapers in mid-2013 under an estimated $1.5 billion foreign military sales deal with the U.S.
According to the U.S. Air Force, the MQ-9 Reaper UAV works to detect and attack targets, and support intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, search and rescue, and close air support operations.
Reapers have a maximum payload capacity of 3,750 pounds and a multi-spectral targeting platform for targeting functions.