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Defence electronics firms team up for European MALE drone programme
Dassault has been working on MALE concepts for several years. © Dassault

Defence electronics firms team up for European MALE drone programme

Elettronica, Hensoldt, Indra and Thales are proposing a joint offer for a mission sub-system for Europe's MALE remotely piloted air system (RPAS) programme.

Four of Europe's leading defence electronics specialists have announced plans to join forces to provide an ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) function for the MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) drone programme of France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Elettronica (Italy), Hensoldt (Germany), Indra (Spain) and Thales (France) report that they have signed a memorandum of agreement, in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, confirming their common goal to offer a coherent ISTAR functional chain for the MALE Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). The offer includes all elements from sensors and computing through data processing and communications. The team says it is open to cooperation with other companies.

The four companies aim to combine their experience and cqpabilities in defence electronics and mission systems into a joint, low-risk approach. They are confident they can meet schedule and budget goals while guaranteeing future growth potential.

The European MALE RPAS programme is managed by the OCCAR European procurement agency. A definition study contract was signed in August 2016 with Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault and Leonardo. The development phase is currently expected to be launched in 2019.

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