ILA: EADS still committed to Talarion UAV, says Zoller

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EADS remains committed to its Talarion unmanned air vehicle project, despite the lack of a clear signal from intended operators France, Germany and Spain about their requirements and funding priorities, says Stefan Zoller, chief executive of the company's Defence & Security business unit.

A suspended full-scale model of the 28m (91.8ft) wing span Talarion dominates the EADS display in hall 7, and confirms the company's ongoing determination to deliver the system, the D&S boss says. "Our future is defined by unmanned systems, and here is the next generation," he adds.

Zoller earlier this year warned that the programme's potential buyers would have to firm up their requirements by this summer if the company was to continue its work after conducting a preliminary design review.

 © EADS

But speaking to Flight Daily News, a bullish Zoller said: "This programme is best in class. There is no reason for us to not go full speed ahead. We have to wait while they finalise their budgets. You won't get straightforward answers on any programme just now."

Powered by two jet engines and to fly at altitudes up to 50,000ft, the Talarion has been designed to meet Europe's future requirements for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The company expects the development and production of 15 systems to cost up to €3 billion ($3.5 billion).