A European First : the nEUROn demonstrator sucessfully makes its first flight
The Neuron demonstrator, fighter aircraft-sized, took off from the Istres air force station in France. Technical experts from the DGA (Defense Procurement Agency, French Ministry of Defence) provided control of the airspace where nEUROn evolved. Such control ensures that test flights are conducted safely with regard to other airspace users and in compliance with regulations in force.
This flight is a major milestone of this ambitious project, and has paved the way for flight test campaigns for the demonstrator in Italy, Sweden and France. These tests are intended to not only demonstrate the flying qualities of the platform, but also assess stealth and combat capabilities.
The DGA is in charge of the overall project management of the nEUROn UCAV, notified in 2006. It is the result of European cooperation, which, in addition to France with Dassault Aviation as prime contractor, includes five partner countries and their aircraft manufacturers : Italy (Alenia Aeronautica), Sweden (Saab), Spain (Eads-Casa), Greece (HAI) and Switzerland (Ruag).
Funded from the research budget of French Ministry of Defence, nEUROn marks a major research and technology endeavour to lay the groundwork for the future and maintain essential industrial skills. It has ushered in the next generation of combat aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, with the aim of preserving European autonomy in this area. This is a major challenge from both the technological and industrial perspectives.
For more information : Dassault Aviation