Airbus, Dassault & Leonardo reaffirm commitment in European MALE programme
On 26 April 2018, the first full scale model of the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MALE RPAS) was ceremonially unveiled at the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show.
The unveiling, led by Dirk Hoke, Airbus Defence and Space Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO, and Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Leonardo’s Aircraft Division Managing Director, confirmed the commitment of the four European nations, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, and industrial partners to jointly develop a sovereign solution for European defence and security.
“While still a lot of work lies ahead of us, this full scale model represents a first milestone of what Europe can achieve in a high-technology sector if it bundles its industrial strength and know-how,” Mr. Hoke explains. “The MALE RPAS will become an integral part in guaranteeing Europe’s sovereignty in the future. This programme is ideally suited to meet urgent capability requirements of Europe’s armed forces. This innovative partnership also eases the countries’ constrained budgetary situation through clever pooling of research and development funds.”
“Today’s unveiling reflects our companies’ total dedication to the European Defence and Security sovereignty. Cooperation and high technology legitimate the leadership of the European Industry and guarantee the strategic autonomy of Europe,” Mr. Trappier continued. “Innovative programmes through efficient partnerships will serve European competitiveness and will offer new alternatives to the off-the-shelf acquisition of non-European products. Dassault Aviation reaffirms its full support to Airbus Defence & Space as programme leader of the MALE RPAS.”
“Unmanned technologies and their applications represent one of the key technological foundations for the future evolution of European Defence Industries” Mr. Cioffi concludes. “The European MALE RPAS is orientated to foster the development of high technologies and will contribute to sustaining key competencies and jobs within Europe providing Armed Forces with an high performance and sovereign operational system.”