EADS Advanced UAV
With its Advanced UAV, EADS Military Air Systems wants to develop an indigenous European MALE system with performance a generation ahead of current systems like Predator B or Heron TP.
Unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft (unbemanntes Fluggerät für Nachrichtengewinnung, Überwachung, Zielerfassung und Aufklärung)
France, Germany, Spain (Deutschland, Frankreich, Spanien)
EADS Military Air Systems
General (Allgemeine Angaben)
Crew (Besatzung): 0
Weapons (Bewaffnung): Option for later development. 1000 kg could be carried on four external stores stations.
Power plant (Antrieb): 2 x Williams FJ33-5A turbofans. Pratt & Whitney PW 615A as an alternative.
Thrust (Schub): 2 x 14,5 kN
Length (Länge): 11,6 m (was 10,3 m in 2007 design iteration)
Height (Höhe): 4,6 m (was 3,85 m earlier)
Span (Spannweite): 27, 9 m (was 25,25 m previously, with an area of 30 sq m)
Internal payload (interne Nutzlast): 800 kg
External paylaod (Außenlast): 1000 kg optional
Take-off weight (Startmasse): about 7000 kg (was over 6 tons previously)
Max. speed (Höchstgeschwindigkeit): 665 km/h (360 ktas)
Average cruise speed (Marschgeschwindigkeit): 480 km/h (270 kts)
Patrol speed (Patrouillengeschwindigkeit): 335 km/h (180 kts) (was 205 – 260 kts)
Max. altitude (max. Flughöhe): 15250 m (50000 ft)
Ferry range (Überführungsreichweite): 8890 km (4800 NM)
Endurance (Einsatzdauer): 24 h (was 22 h)
Time on station (Zeit auf Station): 8,4 h, about 2775 km from base (data from 2007)
None yet. France, Germany and Spain financed a risk reduction study. According to EADS presentations in June 2009, they need around 15 systems with three aircraft each (France and Germany 6 each, Spain 3). Turkey could also join the programme. In addition, EADS hopes for export sales or maybe ten systems in the first ten years of production.
For the 15 month risk reduction study, the three Governments provided 57,7 million Euros. Industry provided another 35 million Euros, it was said.
In June 2009, EADS put the development cost at around 1,5 billion Euros. A system (ground station and three air vehicles) was offered at around 90 million Euros.
The Advanced UAV is a medium-altitude, long endurance (MALE) aircraft for ISTAR missions (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance). It is tailored to the harmonized needs expressed by France, Germany and Spain, expressed in a joint operational requirement document (PORCD). Features include:
- two engines mounted in the tail providing good redundancy and enough electrical power for an extensivesensor fit
- AESA radar as main sensor. It should provide MTI (Moving Target Indication) and SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) capabilities and a host of modes, also including sea surveillance. Thales is leading the development effort of the Aura consortium, with contributions by EADS Defence Electronics (Germany) and Indra from Spain.
- electo-optical sensor, IR and laser designator in turret under the rear fuselage.
- satellite datalink with 4 Mbit/s transfer capability. Link 16.
- weapons capability as an option, with 1000 kg external stores load.
- automatic take-off and landing capability.
- system design architecture to allow operations in civil airspace
- large internal bay for alternative payloads like maritime surveillance radar, SIGINT electronics etc.
- can be dismantled and airlifted in a container that is 15,2 m long, 2,4 m wide and 2,6 m high.
After the failure of the Euromale concept in 2006, EADS was forced to rethink its strategy in the MALE UAV sector. It came up with the Advanced UAV, the first artists impressions of which began to circulate in late 2006. At that time, a modular air vehicle concept was promoted, with long and short wings. Two PW615Fs were fitted.
The Advanced UAV was shown in model form at the Paris Air Show in June 2007. During the show, on 21 June, France and Germany signed a technical agreement to start a common risk reduction study, with Spain also on board. It was said that the work should result in an operational system by “the mid of the next decade”.
Spain formally signed its participation in the Advanced UAV risk reduction work on 18 July 2007. It was then said that the contract could be ready in the next few weeks.
A 15 month risk reduction study was awarded on 4 December 2007 on behalf of the Governments of France, Germany and Spain in December 2007 by the BWB(Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung) at Koblenz. It provided 57,7 million Euros. In parallel, Dassault, Thales and Indra offered a solution based on the IAI Heron TP.
During the risk reduction phase, in the autumn of 2008, it became clear that the reconnaissance version with short wings for Germany was not a priority and this aspect of the programme was thus eliminated. Advanced UAV was now a normal MALE.
In January 2009, EADS said that it is in talks with Turkey concerning a possible participation of the country in the Advanced UAV programme.
On 6 April 2009, EADS provided the results of the risk-reduction study to the participating Governments.
On 27 April 2009, a review session on the reports was held at the EADS facilities in Elancourt near Paris, where a “UAV battle lab” is installed.
At the end of May 2009, EADS subimitted a proposal for the development, production and initial support of the Advanced UAV. It said that the development cost would be around 1,5 billion Euros and that first deliveries would be possible about six and a half years after contract award.
Last updated: 8 June 2009