Saab to build Talarion computers

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EADS company Cassidian has awarded Saab the job of building crucial avionics for the Talarion unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

Saab will build and supply vehicle, payload and communications management computers for the medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2012, and the first order to be completed by 2014.

"The selection of Saab to provide mission and flight critical avionics equipment for this new advanced platform verifies our position as a competitive supplier in the avionics market," said Micael Johansson, senior vice-president and head of Saab's Electronic Defence Systems business area.

The computers are based off a Saab common module, which the company said is easily adaptable to a number of platforms. The details of the order, including the number of systems to be produced, have not been finalised, but Saab plans to deliver prototypes in 2013 and 2014.

 
 © EADS

Design and construction work will take place at Saab facilities in Jönköping and Järfälla, Sweden.

Despite the more than €500 million ($684 million) and climbing development costs of Talarion, another €300 million is required to build a flying prototype, according to Cassidian chief executive Dr Stefan Zoller. Sales efforts targeted at 10 prospective European customers, particularly France, Germany, Spain and Turkey, have thus far been unsuccessful, and the aircraft has no orders on the books. Falling military budgets have cast doubts upon the programme's ultimate success.