European MALE RPAS passes PDR
The European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS) programme passed system preliminary design review (PDR) in late November.
The milestone comes after a two-year definition study launched in September 2016 by the participating states, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The European Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) invitated Airbus Defence and Space to submit a tender for the development, production and initial in service support phase of the programme at the end of October. The successful PDR will allow the participating states and industry to start developing the system with aligned requirements and a clear picture of the overall system design.
For the programme, Airbus Defence and Space will coordinate the industrial response to the invitation to tender with the involvement of sub-contractors Dassault Aviation and Leonardo.
MALE RPAS will be designed for flight in non-segregated airspace with mission modularity for ISTAR operations, both wide area and in-theatre. In mid-2017 the participating states agreed on the air vehicle configuration, selecting a twin-turboprop propulsion system.
A contract signature is expected in 2019.
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