Paris: Dassault Aviation of France and BAE Systems of Britain have revealed details about a joint programme, dubbed the Telemos, to develop medium-altitude, long-endurance combat drones for the armed forces of both nations. The programme was formalised through a Franco-British cooperation treaty signed in November last year.
BAE will be the lead contractor for the project.
Telemos is named after a mythical cyclops with long-range vision.
According to Eric Trappier, Dassault's head of international operations, development cost of the unmanned aerial vehicle may enlarge to €1 billion, or $1.5 billion, which will be shared equally by both countries.
If defence ministries of both countries place firm orders by the year-end, the aircraft is expected to become operational in about five years' time.
So far, fleet size hasn't been worked out and neither has the unit cost.