Le Bourget, Paris: Alenia Aeronautica, Dassault Aviation and Saab AB have signed a letter of intent that will see them expand and intensify their teamwork in developing a next generation European MALE UAV System (Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Air Vehicle).
This cooperation agreement would seek to address the trend of increased UAV use in defence, civil and commercial applications, and especially the growing market demand for MALE UAV systems.
"With the success of the nEUROn cooperation and our overall history and proven track record of aerospace achievements, we recognise our companies as the apparent team to provide a European MALE UAV System meeting the current and future European needs", the CEOs of Alenia Aeronautica, Dassault Aviation and Saab AB said in a statement.
As the project leader, Alenia Aeronautica, together with the two partner companies, will conduct a government-funded study of MALE UAV systems. The three companies said that they would share capabilities and technologies already developed for the nEUROn programme, and transfer them to the new MALE UAV system. The nEUROn programme is the next generation technology demonstrator for a European Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).
According to the partners, the new programme will benefit from developed and demonstrated technologies, as well as from tools used in the nEUROn programme. They also said that the organisation and partnership model instituted during the nEUROn programme would also form the basis for the new programme.
"The new MALE UAV system development is open to others, and discussions are going on with European partners. It is highly strategic in order to maintain the capabilities and competitiveness of the European industry, both in terms of technological spin-off to the overall aerospace sector, and in terms of workload, including electronic defence, sensors and communications," the CEO's of the three partners companies said.