A new major milestone in the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS) program was attained with the achievement of the System Preliminary Design Review on November 22nd.
This highly significant accomplishment follows the European Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) inviting Airbus Defence and Space on October 31st to submit a Tender for the Development, Production and initial in Service Support phase of the European MALE RPAS Program. This milestone will allow the Participating States and Industry to start developing the System with aligned requirements and a clear picture of the overall system design.
As designated future prime contractor, Airbus Defence and Space will coordinate the industrial response to the Invitation to Tender (ITT) with the involvement of major Subcontractors: Airbus Defence & Space, Dassault Aviation SA and Leonardo.
The ITT gives testimony to the willingness of the Participating States (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) to continue with the program after a highly successful requirement alignment phase and a convincing demonstration of the quality and fitness for purpose of the proposed design.
This successful achievement of the System Preliminary Design Review comes after a two-year definition study launched in September 2016 by the aforementioned Participating States. Three of these States had already signed a Declaration of Intent (DoI) to work together on a European MALE unmanned aerial system in May 2015, while Spain joined the program in 2016.
Designed for flight in non-segregated airspace, its characteristics will include mission modularity for operational superiority in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, both wide area and in-theatre. The Participating States’ agreed on the air vehicle configuration in mid-2017, selecting a twin-turboprop propulsion system.
By the middle of the next decade the MALE RPAS will be operated worldwide to perform Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
With over 10,000 military and civil aircraft delivered in more than 90 countries over the last century, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognized worldwide in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale fighter, to the high-end Falcon family of business jets and military drones. This unique experience has allowed Dassault Aviation to propose innovative operational solutions as well as a pragmatic and dynamic approach to cooperation.
Leonardo is among the top ten global players in Aerospace, Defence and Security and Italy’s main industrial company. Organised into seven business divisions (Helicopters; Aircraft; Aero-structures; Airborne & Space Systems; Land & Naval Defence Electronics; Defence Systems; Security & Information Systems), Leonardo operates in the most competitive international markets by leveraging its areas of technology and product leadership. In 2017 Leonardo recorded consolidated restated revenues of 11.7 billion Euros and has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the UK, the U.S. and Poland.