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Anglo-French UAV partnership expected to move forward by the end of the year

18th July 2011 - 16:32 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


BAE Systems believes that the highly-anticipated contract with Dassault Aviation for a new MALE UAV system will be the 'cornerstone' in Anglo-French relations in this market.

The UK and French MoDs are expected to provide an 'overall requirements document this year', according to David Kershaw, strategy and business development director for BAE's information platforms and services division, speaking to Shephard at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on 15 June.

An MoU was signed between the companies for the Telemos programme in February and is expected to result in a UAV with a 36 hour endurance and cruise speed of 300kts.

By working together, the UK and France aim to share costs and therefore lower through-life costs, and build on relations between the countries.

Further to the Telemos programme there is potential for the companies to work on a combat UAV, and the 'advantage of this MALE system is that it could be a good pipe cleaner in that context', according to Kershaw.

Speaking of the current state of the UAV market at present, Kershaw added that homeland security, for both large and small UAS, is being looked at but that the opening of airspace needs to be invested in.

Because of the cancellation of the Nimrod as outlined in the UK's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), Kershaw said that there will be a capability gap that will need to be filled, and UAVs are capable of filling it.

Speaking about the advantages of larger tactical unmanned platforms, Kershaw said that in order to be strategically focused these systems are necessary and provided capabilities that could not be provided by smaller systems.

'The laws of physics say there are limits to what you can do with a smaller system,' he explained.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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