Canadair CL-289

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Canadair CL-289
Launch of a CL-289
Launch of a CL-289
Type: Reconnaissance drone
Design country:


Number of pieces:


The CL-289 is a reconnaissance drone . It was manufactured by the Canadian company Canadair and the German company Dornier as main subcontractors. The sensor system consists of a serial camera and a scanning device in the spectrum of infrared radiation (infrared line scanner , IRLS-Infrared Line Scanning for short ). The components for direct image data transmission come from the French company SAT (now Safran SA ). The reconnaissance system was introduced into the Bundeswehr and the French army . The system completed only 468 flight hours in the Bundeswehr during its operating period from 1990 to 2009.


The reconnaissance system starts with a solid rocket . This booster has a thrust of 32 kN .

In flight, the drone is powered by a Rolls-Royce T-117 turbojet engine. This compact single-shaft engine has a thrust of 1.03 kN.

The unmanned aerial vehicle flies independently on a previously programmed course. Up to 199 processes can be programmed. The navigation takes place georeferenced with Global Positioning System (GPS) support. After the flight, the drone lands on a parachute on two landing pads .


The Bundeswehr was one of the first armies to be equipped with an unmanned aerial reconnaissance system. The system was able to record video sequences at close range and transmit them directly, but for longer stretches only record images that were only available upon return.

The CL-289 artillery reconnaissance system was first used as part of the Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina . From February 1997 to 1999, 376 reconnaissance flights were carried out in the former Yugoslavia. The first reconnaissance order of the US armed forces was carried out by a German drone battery in Mostar, the calculations of the courses (in the complex replacement procedure) were initially provided by the drone training battery 300 (DLB 300) in Idar-Oberstein in Rhineland-Palatinate , as there was no system at the time - compatible digital landscape data of Bosnia were available. The courses created there were sent to the nurses' battery in Mostar. As part of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM), around 350 soldiers from a CL-289 drone battery and their logistics and security forces were stationed in Tetovo , Macedonia from November 1998 onwards for the air surveillance mission (Operation Eagle Eye) . 18 drones were deployed over Kosovo, but five of them were lost. In mid-April 1999, Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping provided the chief prosecutor Louise Arbor of the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with images of reconnaissance flights of the CL-289, which showed the systematic crimes against humanity committed against Kosovar Albanians by Yugoslav-Serbian military officers. and police forces.

On March 18, 2009, the last flight of the CL-289 drone took place at the NATO military training area in Bergen by the observation tank artillery battalion 131 from Mühlhausen / Thuringia . A total of 1,401 flights and 468 flight hours were carried out with the system. The only remaining CL 289 drone battery, located in Stadtallendorf in Hesse, was decommissioned on December 31, 2009.

Components of the overall system in the German Army

  • Aircraft drone CL-289
  • Launch vehicle M21 (MAN N 4520 7to mil gl)
  • Flight planning system M09 (cabin Fm II loaded on truck Daimler-Benz DB 1017)
  • Image data receiving system M11N (cabin Fm II loaded on truck Daimler-Benz DB 1017 with special body)
  • Aerial image evaluation system M12N (cabin Fm II loaded on truck Daimler-Benz DB 1017)
  • Mobile equipment for field repairs
  • M24 drone transport vehicle

Technical specifications

  • Length: 3.70 m
  • Wingspan: 1.32 m
  • Empty weight: 140 kg
  • Maximum take-off weight: 340 kg
  • Payload: 32 kg
  • Fuel capacity: 72 l
  • Range: max. 400 km
  • Max. Flight time: 30 min
  • Penetration depth: approx. 170 km
  • Speed: 720 km / h (820 km / h at start)
  • Summit altitude: 3000 m Currently development of new software for flights up to 5000 m
  • Curve radius: approx. 3000 m
  • Recognition altitude: 200–1200 m
  • Real-time transmission: approx. 70 km
  • Payload: 35mm series camera, IR sensor


Web links

Commons : CL289  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b DroneWatch: The overview of the Bundeswehr drones (with correction) - eyes straight ahead! Retrieved June 9, 2020 .
  2. ^ German Army: Golden Flight of the Drone CL 289 reconnaissance system , accessed October 23, 2009