The AAROK Unleashed: France’s Powerhouse Drone

Bigger isn't always better, but in the world of military drones, France's latest airborne leviathan, the AAROK, is challenging that notion. Launched at the Paris Air Show, this titan of the skies reflects a seismic shift in , pushing the boundaries of size, power, and functionality.

The AAROK, birthed from the innovative minds at French defense contractor Turgis & Gaillard, is a 5.4-ton behemoth. Possessing a 72-foot wingspan, it carries roughly 3,300 pounds of munitions, while the drone itself makes up the remaining weight. But its mammoth stature isn't its only impressive feature.

Armed with a Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprop engine, delivering a robust 1,200 hp, the AAROK is built to conquer any terrain. Be it rough grounds or an aircraft carrier, this beast of a drone, complete with sturdy landing gear, can take flight with ease. Once airborne, remote operators command the drone via its satcom datalink. Its marathon-like endurance allows for 24 hours of continuous operation, a critical feature for long surveillance or combat missions.

With its powerful offensive and reconnaissance capabilities, the AAROK is a formidable asset on the battlefield. Equipped with optronic sensors, radar, and SIGINT sensors, it efficiently scans for enemy activity and strategic points. It's ready to release a payload of air-to-ground and precision-guided munitions in combat.

The French contractor sees the AAROK as a maritime surveillance tool and a battlefield communications node. Turgis & Gaillard envisions it as a “key asset for operational dominance” for unmanned strikes. Additionally, the company emphasized the drone's ease of assembly. The AAROK utilizes off-the-shelf components housed within a robust yet straightforward fuselage, streamlining production while keeping development costs and labor in check.

Currently, still a prototype, Turgis & Gaillard hint that the AAROK is nearing the end of its testing phase and is on the cusp of being production-ready. As it edges closer to full operation, the AAROK exemplifies the evolving face of drone technology — one that embraces size and power in equal measure.

Photo courtesy of Gareth Jennings.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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