nEUROn, the European full-scale technological demonstrator for an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), has successfully conducted more than 100 test flights in France, Italy and Sweden.
Equipped with a new attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) supplied by the LITEF, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, the aircraft completed a major milestone in the demonstrator programme.
Northrop Grumman LITEF managing director Eckehardt Keip said: "We are very proud to contribute to this successful European UCAV programme.
"Once again, our LCR-100 gyro-compassing AHRS has demonstrated its superior performance in an advanced aircraft platform."
The UCAV is developed by an industrial team led by Dassault Aviation with the collaboration of Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, Saab, Airbus Defence and Space, RUAG and HAI.
The LCR-100 Gyrocompass AHRS is a north-finding attitude and heading reference system based on a fibre-optic gyro and micro-electromechanical (MEMS) accelerometers.
The new nEUROn is expected to be larger and more advanced than other proven UAV systems like the MQ-1 Predator. It would be able to launch precision-guided munitions from an internal weapons bay, and perform an air-to-ground mission in a network centric warfare.
Launched by the French Government in 2003, the demonstrator programme aims to help the European combat aircraft industry in investigation and validation of technologies required for developing designs of the next-generation UCAV aircraft.
In 2015, the French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) completed flight testing of the nEUROn technology demonstrator from Istres, France.
Image: nEUROn, the European full-scale technological demonstrator for an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). Photo: courtesy of Aerolegende.