Home Air Dassault’s nEUROn UAV completes test campaign in support of FCAS

Dassault’s nEUROn UAV completes test campaign in support of FCAS

Photo: Dassault Aviation

The French defense procurement and technology agency DGA announced it has completed the latest campaign of flight trials of the Dassault Aviation-developed nEUROn unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV).

The fifth testing campaign studied the use of a stealth combat drone in an operational context, and included collaborative flights with five Rafale fighter jets, and an AWACS aircraft.

The tests will also inform decisions on the development of the Future Combat Air System program, for which the governments of France, Germany and Spain signed a new contract worth 150 million euros that will fund the demonstration phase of the program.

The FCAS project aims to develop both a sixth-generation fighter jet and unmanned aerial systems that would have the capability to operate as swarm drones. The Next Generation Fighter (NGF) is expected to replace France’s Rafales, Germany’s Eurofighters and Spanish F-18 Hornets from the 2040s.

FCAS will benefit from the nEUROn flight campaign by incorporating stealth and other technology evaluation lessons gathered from over 100 flights of the UCAV. Developed by Dassault Aviation as prime contractor under the authority of DGA nEUROn is 10 meters long, has a wingspan of 12.5 meters and an empty weight of 5 tons. It is powered by a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca “Adour” engine.

The project is joined by Italian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek and Swiss governments acting together with their related industrial teams, Alenia, SAAB, EADS-CASA, Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) and RUAG.

Dassault Aviation photo of the sixth-generation FCAS aircraft