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December 17, 2018

European MALE RPAS programme finishes system preliminary design review

The European medium altitude long endurance remotely piloted aircraft system (MALE RPAS) programme has successfully completed the system preliminary design review. 

The European medium altitude long endurance remotely piloted aircraft system (MALE RPAS) programme has successfully completed the system preliminary design review.

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This milestone will move the programme into system development.

MALE RPAS programme is managed by the European procurement agency OCCAR. France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are participating in the drone programme.

The unmanned aerial system will be used by the armed forces of the four countries. Designed for flight in non-segregated airspace, it will be integrated with a future-proof intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) function.

Featuring a twin-turboprop propulsion system, the RPAS will be capable of performing long-endurance ISR missions, both wide area and in-theatre, with a variety of payloads, as well as ground support missions with precision weapons.

“The first prototype will be ready to fly in early 2023, with a planned delivery in 2025.”

The first prototype will be ready to fly in early 2023, with a planned delivery in 2025. The system is expected to start operating by the mid-2020s.

In May 2015, a declaration of intent (DoI) was initially signed by three countries to partner on the European MALE unmanned aerial system. Spain joined the effort in 2016. All nations agreed on the air vehicle configuration in mid-2017.

On 26 August 2016, a definition study contract was signed with the European aircraft manufacturers Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo.

Airbus Defence and Space is the designated future prime contractor that will manage the industrial response to the invitation to tender (ITT). Through this, the four states will give proof to continue with the programme.

The company was invited on 31 October to submit a tender for the development, production and initial in-service support phase of the programme.

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Whilst at its core a humanitarian crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine risks adding materially to existing global economic and supply challenges. We are likely heading into a period in which geopolitics will become a regular part of boardroom discussions. Recent developments have seen Russian companies make significant progress around the world to supply countries with equipment in various Aerospace, Defense & Security sectors. This means that countries dependent on Russian arms for their security calculations should review all purchases and clauses regarding their programs and payments. Download GlobalData’s 5th Ukraine Conflict Executive Briefing to learn more. This report is part of a continued series that is renewed monthly with the latest data and analysis, as the conflict develops and has wider implications across sectors. Access the latest macro-economic forecasts, charts with the latest data, and our updated sanctions tracker, as well as our updated sector scorecards to reflect the current views on the impact of the crisis at a company level.
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