In recent years there has been a glut of projects for European medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAVs, but none has made any headway. In the meantime, Europe’s air arms have largely turned to Israel and the USA to provide capability.
Last month three European aerospace heavy-hitters (Airbus Defence and Space, Alenia Aermacchi and Dassault Aviation) launched an attempt to force the issue by proposing a MALE 2020 programme to the French, German and Italian governments.
The proposal outlines a two-year definition phase, as well as a framework work-share agreement. If the respective governments agree quickly, the partners see no obstacles to getting a platform into service by 2020.
A model showing a potential MALE 2020 configuration is displayed here by Dassault (Hall 6, Stand F81).