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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The nEUROn maiden flight

Credit: Dessault Aviation, nEUROn 2012
On December 1st, the nEUROn, Europe’s unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) stealth technology demonstrator, successfully completed its maiden flight from the Dassault Aviation company’s flight test base in Istres, in collaboration with the flight test personnel of the French defense procurement agency (DGA).
The a €405 million nEUROn was launched in 2005 with Dassault Aviation as prime contractor. The program was designed to pool the skills and know-how of Alenia Aermacchi (Italy), Saab (Sweden), EADS-CASA (Spain), HAI (Greece), RUAG (Switzerland) and Thales (France). It defines a future for the aeronautic excellence of Europe.
With a length of 10 meters, a wingspan of 12.5 meters and an empty weight of 5 tons, the aircraft is powered by a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca “Adour” engine.  The nEUROn will continue to undergo testing in France until 2014, at which time it will be sent to Vidsel in Sweden for a series of operational trials. It will then go to the Perdadesfogu range (Italy) for further tests, in particular firing and stealth measurements.
The nEUROn programme is promoted as "a major opportunity for the European industry to develop its capabilities in the UAV field, to keep and maintain its competences in order to be ready for the design of the next generation of European combat aircraft, and to experience a new programme management process, optimized through an innovative international cooperation scheme."
Check out the official maiden flight video here.

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