Northrop Grumman expects to shortly integrate a maritime radar on its Firebird optionally piloted MALE UAV.
Eurodrone partners eye full development contract in Q2 2021
Partner nations in the Eurodrone/European MALE RPAS programme — France, Germany, Italy and Spain — are now expected to sign a full Stage 2 development contract in mid-2021 via the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, the German Armed Forces announced on 24 March.
It added that a budget decision in Germany on financing Eurodrone development is ‘imminent’.
The German coalition government agreed in early February 2021 to provide contractual support for the continued development of Eurodrone, although it explicitly ruled out arming the MALE RPAS.
Airbus is undertaking most of the development and production work on Eurodrone in Germany. That country is currently the largest customer of the new RPAS with 21 on order, according to the latest statement from the German Armed Forces.
Shephard reported in late 2020 that the four partner nations planned to sign the Stage 2 contract in Q1 2021, with an initial delivery of the MALE RPAS capability in 2028. The latest German announcement indicates this has been pushed back to 2029.
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