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Electro-optic payload selected for Eurodrone UAS programme

29th November 2022 - 17:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


A total of 20 systems of three Eurodrone aircraft have been ordered by four European countries. (Image: Leonardo)

A Safran electro-optical payload has been selected for the multinational Eurodrone MALE (medium-altitude long-endurance) UAV programme.

Safran Electronics & Defense has contracted with Leonardo to develop and supply its Euroflir 610 airborne EO system for the Eurodrone effort.

Derived from the earlier Euroflir 410's architecture, Euroflir 610 is a 25in optronic system that can carry out observation and target designation by day or night and in degraded weather conditions. It features a multispectral telescope, line-of-sight stabilisation and target geolocation.

The Eurodrone programme is led by the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and will provide 20 systems representing over 60 MALE aircraft.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, France will take 12 aircraft, Germany 21, Italy 15 and Spain 12. Germany is the lead nation on the programme with Airbus as prime contractor. Leonardo's role covers wing design and production, electrical and environmental control, and mission and armament systems. 

Selection of the Euroflir 610 strengthens European technological sovereignty in the ITAR-free programme, says Safran. (Photo: Safran)

The ITAR-free programme was launched in September 2016, and a contract was signed in February this year between Airbus and OCCAR for the 60 aircraft above.

Total funding is a reported €7.1 billion ($8.56 billion). Shephard Defence Insight calculates that one unit will cost an estimated $143 million. With 20% of this taken up by supporting costs, it can be estimated that Eurodrome's flyaway unit cost is $114.4 million.

Adoption of Euroflir 610 as a payload strengthens European sovereignty in this technological segment, according to Safran. The start of Eurodrone prototype manufacturing with the payload is planned for 2024.

Euroflir family payloads have already been selected for the Airbus H160M/HIL and Tiger Mk 3 helicopters.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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