A major milestone in the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS) programme was attained with the achievement of the System Preliminary Design Review last month.
This milestone follows the European Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) inviting Airbus Defence and Space on October 31st to submit a Tender for the Development, Production and initial in Service Support phase of the European MALE RPAS Programme, according to the company.
“This milestone will allow the Participating States and Industry to start developing the System with aligned requirements and a clear picture of the overall system design. As designated future prime contractor, Airbus Defence and Space will coordinate the industrial response to the Invitation to Tender (ITT) with the involvement of major Sub-Contractors: Airbus Defence & Space, Dassault Aviation SA and Leonardo.
The ITT gives testimony to the willingness of the Participating States (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) to continue with the programme after a highly successful requirement alignment phase and a convincing demonstration of the quality and fitness for purpose of the proposed design.”
Designed for flight in non-segregated airspace, Airbus say its characteristics will include mission modularity for operational superiority in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, both wide area and in-theatre.
The Participating States’ agreed on the air vehicle configuration in mid-2017, selecting a twin-turboprop propulsion system.
By the middle of the next decade the MALE RPAS will be operated worldwide to perform Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.