Airbus expects Eurodrone contract in coming weeks

by Gareth Jennings

A scale model of the Eurodrone in Luftwaffe markings was shown at the Berlin Security Conference in November. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Airbus expects to finalise the contract to build the Eurodrone unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “in the next couple of months”.

Speaking at the company's annual Trade Media Briefing on 30 November, the chief engineer for the programme at Airbus, Daniela Lohwasser, said that with the industrial team now ready to proceed, the programme is awaiting approval from all four participating nations.

“We are ready from our side, along with Dassault and Leonardo,” Lohwasser said. “Once we have the green light from all the partner nations [we can proceed]. It will be maybe a couple of months until we will be ready for the full contract signatures.”

France, Germany and Italy have approved their participation in the Eurodrone project, with only Spain left to sign off on its involvement.


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French Senate submits budget request for national future fighter effort

by Gareth Jennings

A model of the NGF manned fighter at the core of the FCAS/SCAF project. The French Senate has issued a budget amendment request to fund a feasibility study to develop a wholly national alternative should the project with Germany and Spain fail. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

French lawmakers have submitted a request to develop a wholly national future combat aircraft, with a Finance Bill for 2023 amendment posted in late November.

The budget request by the French Senate is to fund a EUR10 million (USD10.5 million) feasibility study to develop a future replacement for the country's Dassault Rafale. It came after repeated references by that company's CEO, Éric Trappier, to a “Plan B” should industrial agreements not be reached on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de combat aérien du futur (SCAF) project with Airbus of Germany and Indra of Spain.


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Partners sign FCAS/SCAF demonstrator deal

by Gareth Jennings

Phase 1B of the New Generation Fighter that sits at the core of FCAS/SCAF project will now go ahead, with Dassault as the lead partner. (Dassault)

The industrial partners heading up the trinational Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien du Futur (SCAF) have agreed to the demonstrator phase of the project.

Dassault announced the milestone on 1 December, saying that an agreement on Phase 1B of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) element of the FCAS/SCAF project had been reached with Airbus and Indra.

“Yes, today it is done. We have an agreement with Airbus,” Dassault CEO Éric Trappier said in an interview given to Le Figaro . “We'll now be able to move into the next phase of studies, known as [Phase] 1B, to prepare for the development of a demonstrator, which should fly around 2029… We have been confirmed in our role as prime contractor and architect of the aircraft, and we have obtained protection for our industrial know-how and technologies.”


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Netherlands MoD publishes Defence Space Agenda

by Olivia Savage

Pictured are two nano satellites − Huygens and Birkeland − that are part of the MilSpace2 project, a collaborative R&D programme between the Dutch and Norwegian ministries of defence for the detection of radar signals. Continued co-operation on the programme is guaranteed for the coming years. (NanoAvionics)

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published its Defence Space Agenda, detailing the country's future military space investment priorities.

According to the agenda, published by the MoD on 25 November, the Netherlands is seeking to ensure strategic autonomy by developing and owning its own constellation of satellites, while also reducing its dependency on communication, navigation, observation, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities supplied by its strategic and commercial partners.

Between EUR25 million and EUR100 million (USD25.88 million and USD103.54 million) will be allocated from 2023 to 2027 to address these requirements. This is separate from the EUR25−100 million earmarked for military satellite communications (milsatcom), outlined in the 2022 Defense Memorandum.


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Airbus expects to finalise the contract to build the Eurodrone unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “in the...

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