Dassault comes to the show with its UAV ambitions having taken a step forward following the first fully autonomous flight of its AVE-D drone.

The sub-scale AVE-D made its automatic sortie on 30 June from Toul. Under the scrutiny of representatives from France’s DGA armament procurement agency it went through a completely automated mission sequence including taxiing, take-off, in-flight manoeuvres, landing and taxiing back to its parking spot.

The AVE-D (D for discretion, or stealth) is one of a series of sub-scale UAVs designed to demonstrate technologies for the planned European Neuron unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator programme.

AVE vehicles have been carrying out test flights under a DGA contract since 2004. Dassault is working with EADS Spain on the French-led Neuron, scheduled to fly in 2011 and being developed with Greece, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.

 AVE-D unmanned air vehicle

Source: Flight International