defpro.com: nEUROn Europe's unmanned combat aircraft taking shape
Unmanned nEUROn stealth combat aircraft
nEUROn Europe's unmanned combat aircraft taking shape
On February 9, 2006, French defense procurement agency DGA, the program executive agency, named Dassault Aviation as prime contractor in charge of developing nEUROn, a European combat aircraft vehicle demonstrator. This signaled the active launch of the project.The AVE-C drone carried out a demonstration flight on June 30, 2008. Since this drone features a general design similar to nEUROn, this test helped confirm the likelihood of the new UCAV performing a successful automatic takeoff and landing right from its first flight.The maiden flight of nEUROn is scheduled for the end of 2011. Test flights will be carried out over a period of about 18 months, in France (Istres), then Sweden and Italy. 85% of the total budget has now been awarded to Industry by DGA, which acts on behalf of the six Partner States (France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Greece and Switzerland).In other words, not only is nEUROn beginning to take shape, but so is a real pan-European military aviation industry.