PARIS: Dassault, BAE look to advance joint UCAS study

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An Anglo-French effort to pursue a future class of unmanned combat air system continues to take shape, with Dassault displaying a representative model on its exhibit.

Dassault and the UK's BAE Systems have previously signed a memorandum of understanding to work towards the development of a future UCAS, which would draw on the lessons learned during their respective Neuron and Taranis technology demonstrator programmes.

The partners have already performed an initial demonstration programme preparation phase linked to the bilateral UCAS scheme, and will soon deliver the results to the nations' governments.

 

 Billypix

Unmanned combat air system

"As a programme it is working very well, and we are working well together," says one UK industry source. An outline proposal is due to be delivered later in the third quarter of 2013 for a set of common technical building blocks which could form part of a future operational system.

Meanwhile, a separate attempt to jointly develop a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS for France and the UK appears to have stalled, with Dassault instead having joined forces with Alenia Aermacchi and EADS Cassidian at the show to call for a true multinational solution.

While the UK source says the bilateral MALE study using the Telemos air system "met the joint programme requirement", the extended use of current assets such as the French military's Harfang and Royal Air Force's Reaper has reduced the urgency to develop a shared design.

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