A four-nation team of European companies will this week select an unmanned air vehicle system to take part in a series of maritime flight demonstrations in Germany late this year or early in 2006.

Comprising 11 companies from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, the German-speaking working group, UAV DACH, will use the trials to demonstrate civil applications, such as pollution control and economic exclusion zone and fisheries protection, says the group's Bernhard von Bothmer.

A final recommendation on an air vehicle and payload selection will be made during a UAV DACH demonstration group meeting on 12 May, with platforms including EMT's Luna UAV and an optionally piloted S15-8 aircraft developed by Germany's Stemme UMS under consideration. Both companies are members of the UAV DACH group, which also includes BGT, EADS, Rheinmetall Defence Electronics and Schiebel.

The group is also looking into issues such as air vehicle certification, air traffic control integration and datalink requirements. Since it was set up in 2000, the multinational initiative has drawn support from European flight certification and test authorities and, most recently Germany's BDLI industry association, says von Bothmer.

Source: Flight International