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Airbus selects Avio Aero to power Eurodrone

Seen at the unveiling of the mock-up in 2018, the Eurodrone is to be powered by a pair of Avio Aero Catalysts propulsion systems. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Airbus has selected Avio Aero from Italy to power the Eurodrone medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The German lead for the project made the announcement on 25 March, saying that the General Electric-owned company will provide an International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)-free engine and propeller solution for the craft, dubbed Catalyst.

β€œThe Catalyst was identified as the best solution based on superior performance, lower developmental risk, better in-service economics, as well as growth potential. In line with customer requirements, Catalyst will offer a truly European solution and will thus contribute to the overall role of Eurodrone as an enabler of strategic autonomy,” Jean-Brice Dumont, head of military aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, said.

As noted by Airbus in its announcement, the Catalyst is a flight-proven engine that, being entirely developed and manufactured in Europe, can be exported without ITAR clearances from the United States. Besides being overall lead contractor for the Eurodrone project, Airbus is responsible for the selection of the engine supplier. β€œKey aspects in the selection of Eurodrone suppliers are competitiveness, performance, the ability to meet the demanding delivery schedule, and the capacity to meet the in-service demand,” the company said.

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