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Eurodrone passes delayed preliminary design review

A mock-up of the Eurodrone seen at the Paris Airshow in 2023. The project has now passed its preliminary design review, paving the way for its critical design review later in the year. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The Eurodrone project has passed its delayed preliminary design review (PDR), the lead contractor Airbus Defence and Space (DS) announced on 16 May.

The milestone was completed alongside programme partners Dassault and Leonardo, as well as the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR).

“The PDR proves that the initial design of the aircraft has consistently matured, paving the way to proceed with the detailed design,” Airbus DS said, adding that it is the outcome of different technical assessments and evaluations.

These, the company noted, included wind tunnel testing to confirm the aerodynamic configuration of the Eurodrone, the overall design to ensure demonstration of operational capability, and the validation of a fully representative ‘digital twin' design.

With its successful PDR, the project will now enter into the critical design review (CDR) phase, which will represent the final step and closure of architecture and system design.

Mock-ups presented at several European air shows show the twin-engined Eurodrone to be slightly larger than the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Reaper. Although intended primarily as an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) vehicle (including signals intelligence), there will be an option for it to be armed (the MBDA Akeron LP air-to-surface missile was recently selected as one weapon type for the platform).

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