MALE RPAS programme moves ahead
The Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS) programme to develop a common European UAS has moved into the definition study phase.
The programme is being conducted by Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo-Finmeccanica.
The two-year definition study will be jointly executed by the three companies, and will be followed by the development phase in 2018. The programme aims to have a prototype flying in 2023 with delivery of the system slated for the 2025 timeframe.
MALE RPAS will be a new generation UAS for armed intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. Air traffic integration and certification for European densely populated environment are part of the key distinctive objectives of the programme.
Operational requirements of the nations – France, Germany, Italy, Spain - will be defined in close cooperation with the armed forces.
Dirk Hoke, chief executive officer, Airbus Defence and Space, said: ‘Successfully teaming European nations, industries and defence ministries to improve sovereignty and independence is an outstanding mission, and today marks a new milestone in this innovative partnership.’
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