First relocation of the reconnaissance drone to the Payerne military airfield

Bern, 28.03.2023 - The reconnaissance drone system 15 was relocated to the Payerne military airfield last week. This week, armasuisse is testing the infrastructures and processes with the drone together with the Air Force in Payerne.

After the Federal Office for Defence Procurement (armasuisse) handed over the first two reconnaissance drones to the Air Force in January 2023, their specialists started building up the operational capabilities for the reconnaissance drone system (ADS 15).
The project reaches another important milestone on the path to operational deployment with the first relocation of the ADS 15 system by land from the Emmen military airfield to the Payerne military airfield – known as deployment.
Over the coming weeks, a mixed project team consisting of representatives from the Air Force and flight testing from armasuisse will carry out various tests with the infrastructure for the ADS 15 on the Payerne military airfield. To this end, a mobile ground control station as well as a communications station and other material for maintenance and provision have been brought, in addition to a drone, from Emmen to Payerne. The radio coverage is also being tested and the procedures checked in ground and rolling trials. The tests are taking place under the direction of armasuisse.

Reconnaissance drone system 15

The ADS 15 is an unmanned and unarmed reconnaissance system. It replaces reconnaissance drone system 95, used by the Armed Forces until the end of 2019, which was based on technology from the 1980s. The procurement comprises six drones including ground components, simulator and logistics. The forecast operating life of ADS 15 is around 20 years. The drone is intended for situation and target intelligence, but can also be equipped with different sensors as necessary, for example imaging radar, to generate a picture of the situation on the ground or for electronic reconnaissance. This picture is comparable with photographic images and can therefore be interpreted relatively easily. The system can be deployed during the daytime or at night.

The ADS 15 can perform the following:
•    Monitoring of large areas
•    Target search, reconnaissance and tracking
•    Input to the operational picture and protection of critical infrastructures and own forces

As with the previous system, the users are military and civilian authorities such as Cantonal Management Staff, police and rescue agencies as well as the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS). When defending against a military attack, the ADS 15 helps manage and control ground activities, in particular for fire support. Apart from reconnaissance drones, only helicopters equipped with infrared sensors (forward-looking infrared: FLIR) are suitable for aerial reconnaissance at present. Drones are a sustained, reliable, low-risk and cost-effective resource for a permanent presence above an operational area.

Address for enquiries

Kaj-Gunnar Sievert
Head of Communications armasuisse
+41 58 464 62 47




General Secretariat DDPS