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Airbus expects Eurodrone contract in coming weeks

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.

The Eurodrone programme, also known as the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), includes the development and manufacture of 20 systems, with each containing three aircraft and two ground control stations. Germany is set to be the largest customer with seven systems, followed by Italy with five, and France and Spain with four each.

While some cursory details had previously been released about the industrial make-up of the programme, Lohwasser provided a more comprehensive overview of which nations and companies will manufacture particular elements of the Eurodrone.

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