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European MALE UAV program enters next phase


Shortly before the end of the definition study, launched in September 2016, the Programme Participating States of the European MALE RPAS programme, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, have taken a major decision on the way ahead. After an intense period of preparation, OCCAR-EA launched the invitation to tender to the potential future prime contractor Airbus Defence & Space GmbH on 31 October.


European MALE UAV program enters next phase A full-size mock up of the European MALE UAV showcased at ILA 2018
(Credit: OCCAR EA)


On industry side,  Airbus Defence & Space S.A.U., Dassault Aviation and Leonardo s.p.a. are involved as major sub-contractors for the intended Global Contract, covering development and production, as well as an initial in-service support phase. The ambitious schedule foresees a contract signature in 2019.

A full-size mock-up of the MALE RPAS was unveiled at the ILA Air Show in Berlin On 26 April by the State Secretaries of the Participating States, OCCAR Director and the CEOs of the involved companies (Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo).A full-size mock-up of the MALE RPAS was unveiled at the ILA Air Show in Berlin On 26 April by the State Secretaries of the Participating States, OCCAR Director and the CEOs of the involved companies (Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo).

The unveiling of the full scale model and the reaffirmed commitment comes after a nearly two-year definition study launched in September 2016 by the four participating nations Germany, France, Italy and Spain and follows the Declaration of Intent to work together on a European MALE unmanned aerial system signed by the countries in May 2015.

In January 2018, the MALE RPAS successfully passed System Requirements Review (SRR), which initiated the second phase of the definition study to lead to a System Preliminary Design Review (SyPDR), scheduled for the end of this year.

The SyPDR will demonstrate the quality and fitness for the proposed design. “Air Traffic Integration” and certification are key objectives, giving the participating States full confidence that the development step can be launched with acceptable residual risks.

Preparations for the next stage (development, production and initial in-service support) are already well under way. Entry-into-service of European MALE RPAS is planned for the middle of the next decade.