Dassault Aviation last week officially rolled out the nEUROn, European UCAV technology demonstrator, to the six participating countries. The six-nation Neuron European unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator industrial team includes Saab (Sweden), Alenia Aermacchi (Italy), EADS-CASA (Spain), HAI (Greece) and RUAG (Switzerland).
The first flight of the nEUROn, which was officially launched in 2003, is planned for mid-2012, in Istres, France, according to Dassault, followed by a two-year flight-test program in France, Italy and Sweden. These tests will address flight qualities, stealthiness, air-to-ground weapon firing from an internal bay, integration into a C4i environment as well as the insertion of uninhabited platform in airspace.
Among the participants: Dassault Aviation is responsible for the general design and architecture of the system, the flight control system, the implementation of low observable devices, the final assembly, the systems integration on the “global integration tests rig”, the ground tests, and the flight tests; Alenia contributed a new concept of internal weapon bay, an internal EO/IR sensor, the bay doors and their operating mechanisms, the electrical power and distribution system, and the air data system; Saab will design the main fuselage, the landing gear doors, the avionics and the fuel system; EADS-CASA brings its experience for the wings, the ground station, and the data link integration; HAI is responsible for the rear fuselage, the exhaust pipe, and the supply of racks of the “global integration tests rig"; and RUAG is taking care of the low speed wind tunnel tests, and the weapon interfaces between the aircraft and the armaments.