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Airbus Selects Catalyst Engine for Eurodrone

Advanced Next-Gen Turboprop Finds Another Home 

Airbus has chosen the Avio Aero Catalyst engine for use in their upcoming Eurodrone UAS, equipping a pair of the propeller and engine combination on the future aircraft. 

If the nomenclature sounds familiar, the Avio product is the same as GE's Catalyst, the advanced turboprop engine. The Catalyst program is a solid choice for the Eurodrone program, being developed and manufactured through an association of European manufacturers, freeing it up from overly restrictive ITAR issues from the outset. The engine has been proven through its evaluation so far, and Airbus feels confident its selection will increase the sales base for the drone by minimizing red tape and easing export clearances. As an added bonus, the project may help to challenge apparent American supremacy in uncrewed, remotely piloted aircraft. Airbus would love to see the Eurodron go on to  replace a number of General Atomics designs throughout the region and unseat the MQ-9 series from the throne.

The Eurodrone program is the continent's attempt to go its own way and build their own uncrewed ISR aircraft to reduce dependence on foreign manufacturers. “This selection is a decisive step forward and will ensure that the Eurodrone program can proceed on time, on cost and in line with the specifications laid out by our customers. The Catalyst was identified as the best solution based on superior performance, lower developmental risk, better in-service economics as well as growth potential. In line with customer requirements, Catalyst will offer a truly European solution and will thus contribute to the overall role of Eurodrone as an enabler of strategic autonomy”, said Jean-Brice Dumont, head of military aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space.



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