European aerospace companies Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation, and Alenia Aermacchi have joined forces to develop a next generation medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial system.
The three companies say they have delivered the ‘MALE2020’ proposal to further define a European UAS to France, Germany and Italy. The offer proposes a definition phase which has been prepared by joint development teams from the three companies and which is backed by an industrial agreement on work-share and a cooperative agreement to start the program.
During the definition phase the three nations will define and adjust their requirements for the UAS, while it will also serve as a risk reduction period. The three nations will then be asked to commit to further development of the UAS, with the goal to have an affordable and certifiable solution ready by 2020.
“We have reached an important milestone for the development of a European MALE Drone,” Airbus Defence and Space CEO, Bernhard Gerwert said in a statement. “The need for our armed forces is indisputable. We are highly motivated to continue our discussions with the Ministries of Defence and are looking forward to launch this first step soon.”
Eric Trappier, CEO Dassault Aviation added: “It is a unique opportunity to develop in Europe this strategic capacity. For the first time industry starts a project by having a full agreement on the general work share of the MALE2020 programme. The proposal for the definition phase has been commonly elaborated with joint design teams and therefore demonstrates our industry’s strong commitment to this program.”
Giuseppe Giordo, Alenia Aermacchi’s CEO, said: “We identify a clear opportunity for the armed forces to take advantage of an advanced sovereign ISTAR capability to cope with the future high level requirements. Now is the time to drive technology forward and secure Europe’s capability in building the next generation of military air system as well as maintain talent and expertise in our industry. “