Stealth Technology UAS Demonstrator To Undergo Testing Until 2014
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), on December 1st.
The nEUROn program was launched in 2005 by Dassault for the French Ministry of Defense (DGA), and involves France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Greece and Switzerland. In a news release, the company says it defines a future for the aeronautic excellence of Europe. With Dassault Aviation as prime contractor, the program was designed to pool the skills and technical knowledge of Alenia Aermacchi (Italy), Saab (Sweden), EADS-CASA (Spain), HAI (Greece), RUAG (Switzerland) and Thales (France).
With a length of 30 feet, a wingspan of 41 feet 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 aircraft is similar in size and configuration to the X-47B developed by Northrop Grumman and currently being tested for aircraft carrier operations by the U.S. Navy.