The MALE RPAS will be operated worldwide to especially support ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) missions.
Home / Our work / Programmes / MALE RPAS - MEDIUM ALTITUDE LONG ENDURANCE REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM
Nowadays, most Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in the European Defence arena rely on non-European Union manufacturers, weakening Europe’s strategic autonomy.
With the aim to ensure European strategic sovereignty the Participating States (PS) Germany, France, Spain and Italy, under the management of OCCAR MALE RPAS PD, gathered their requirements to develop the European MALE RPAS (aka Eurodrone).
The MALE RPAS is an indispensable capability to facilitate international conflict prevention and crisis management during all phases of operation – especially in the field of Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR).
The MALE RPAS will be designed to become one of the main pillars of any Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and will offer European industries the opportunity to participate in a large Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) programme designed to be integrated into civil air traffic and to operate in non-segregated airspace.
The development of MALE RPAS will secure European technological capabilities and sustainment in this ISTAR area and will foster the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB).
Since its launch in 2016, the MALE RPAS Programme has successfully passed a number of significant milestones. A Definition Study was initiated to define common requirements between Germany, France, Italy and Spain and was successfully concluded in 2018 with a System Requirement Review (SRR) and a System Preliminary Design Review (SPDR). The subsequent two years were fully devoted to the offer elaboration and successful negotiation of a global contract covering development, production and initial in-service support for 20 systems (60 aircraft and 40 Ground Control Stations) with Airbus Defence and Space GmbH as Prime Contractor and Airbus Defence and Space S.A.U, Leonardo and Dassault as Major Sub-Contractors. This contract was signed on 24 February 2022.
Additionally in 2021, after the MALE RPAS programme was awarded financial support from the European Commission in the frame of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), OCCAR negotiated and signed with industrial partners a Grant Agreement.
After completion of the first development design reviews, the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and the Critical Design Review (CDR), the manufacture of the first Prototype is expected to commence in 2024 and the delivery of serial items to PPS is targeted by end of the decade.
European MALE RPAS will be a key enabler for future operations ensuring to European nations state of the art capabilities. It will be a key pillar in any FCAS to improve the collaborative combat capabilities.
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