A delayed preliminary design review (PDR) for the three-nation Eurodrone project will be conducted later this year, lead industrial partner Airbus says.

“We continue to make progress on Eurodrone,” Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said during the company’s annual results briefing on 15 February.

“Even so, we have recently acknowledged some delays in design specifications. We are now working to complete the preliminary design review later this year, in order to enter into service by the end of this decade.”


Source: Airbus Defence & Space

In development for France, Germany and Spain, new unmanned system will enter service before 2030

A PDR activity scheduled to take place during September 2023 was postponed. Faury says work to freeze the unmanned system’s design “took more time, and we had some more challenges to come to this convergence between specification and design”.

An early-February equipment report published by the German defence ministry indicated that the PDR delay was the result of “ongoing co-ordination issues between the German main contractor Airbus Defence & Space and the French subcontractor Dassault”.

Playing down this suggestion, Faury says: “There is no communication issue with any of the different partners, but there are challenges in coming to convergence.”

A medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air vehicle, the Eurodrone is in development for the armed forces of France, Germany and Spain.

It is unclear if the rescheduled PDR activity could have a knock-on effect on the Eurodrone system’s planned critical design review, originally due to take place in September 2024.