The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has begun a new series of flight tests for the nEUROn unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator. The first flight took place on May 17, 2016, at Istres, northwest of Marseilles, in southern France.
The DGA will oversee the campaign to study the naval use of UCAVs. The testing includes sea trials with flights from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. Later the craft will undergo electromagnetic signature measurement, which will be carried out until early 2017 at Bruz, near Rennes, France.
The nEUROn project, launched in 2006, is a European cooperative that brings together Italy (Alenia Aermacchi), Sweden (Saab), Spain (Airbus Defence & Space), Greece (HAI), Switzerland (RUAG), and France (Dassault Aviation). The DGA provides the project management; Dassault Aviation is the prime contractor.
The first test campaign for nEUROn comprising 123 flights that were made from Istres took place between December 2012 and September 2015, where its flight envelope, development of the flight system, and the evaluation of its stealth were evaluated by the DGA.
Italy participated in testing its optronic sensor, detection algorithms and automatic target recognition and carried out stealth tests. Dropping of weapons and an assessment of its stealth was performed at the Vidsel Test Range in Sweden.
May 20, 2016