Airbus, Dassault and Alenia Aermacchi propose joint European drone
After their call for the development of a European drone at last year's Paris Airshow, the three European companies have now delivered a proposal for further defining a European UAS to the Ministry of Defence of France, Germany and Italy.
The offer proposes a Definition Phase which has been prepared by joint development teams of Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Alenia Aermacchi and which is backed by an industrial agreement on workshare and a cooperative agreement to start the MALE2020 program.
The definition phase foresees that the three nations define and adjust their requirements for a European UAS development together with their armed forces and the European industry. The definition phase also serves to avoid costly additional developments during production and to reduce financial and development risks to a minimum.
A commitment by the nations on the further development of the European UAS has then to be made after finalizing this definition phase: the plan of the Industries leads to an affordable and certifiable solution ready by 2020, the companies claim on the eve of the ILA show in Berlin, which opens tomorrow.
Bernhard Gerwert, CEO Airbus Defence and Space said: “The need for our armed forces is indisputable. We are highly motivated to continue our discussions with the Ministries of Defence and are looking forward to launch this first step soon.”
Eric Trappier, CEO Dassault Aviation said: "It is a unique opportunity to develop in Europe this strategic capacity. The proposal for the definition phase has been commonly elaborated with joint design teams and therefore demonstrates our industry's strong commitment to this program."
Giuseppe Giordo, Alenia Aermacchi’s CEO, said: "We identify a clear opportunity for the armed forces to take advantage of an advanced sovereign ISTAR capability to cope with the future high level requirements. Now is the time to drive technology forward and secure Europe's capability in building the next generation of military air system as well as maintain talent and expertise in our industry. "
The results of the EU Defence Summit in December 2013 allude to an urgent need. The Conclusions of the European Council recognize the development of a MALE UAS as a key capability for European defence.
In light of an increasing dependency of European states on non-european defence equipment, Europe's largest military aviation companies started in June 2013 a joint call for sustaining key capabilities and therefore the continent's sovereignty in constructing the future of military aircraft. The timeframe of the decision to launch the European UAS is now critical in order to meet this goal.