European MALE RPAS completes System Requirements Review phase

The European MALE RPAS (Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) has successfully passed its System Requirements Review (SRR) in January 2018, the OCCAR said. The successful SRR also initiates the second phase of the definition study, which will lead to a consolidated preliminary design.

European Partners complete future MALE RPAS initial definition phase 640 001 With the choice for a twin-turboprop configuration, the Italy-made Piaggio P.1HH HammerHead might be leveraged for the European MALE RPAS program
(Credit: Piaggio Aerospace)

The current review ensures that operational requirements of involved Air Forces are properly transferred into top-level system requirements. The resulting documentation is the basis for the mutual understanding of the system requirements between OCCAR, the Co-Contracting Group (Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo s.p.a.) and the Participating States Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

The following System Preliminary Design Review is scheduled by the end of this year. Preparations for the next stage (development, production and initial in-service support) are already well under way. The entry into service of European MALE RPAS is planned for the middle of the next decade.

The initial study phase was completed in August 2017, opening the path to the official development phase in 2018, with a prototype first flight in early 2023 and delivery of the first system by 2025.

According to Airbus DS, the RPAS' operational functions will include ground and maritime surveillance, daytime or infrared target reconnaissance and identification, operations support, integration in C4I (Command, Control, Communication, Computer and Intelligence), as well as integration in air traffic.