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Europes nEUROn combat drone flies

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First successfully flight of stealth drone nEUROn Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle demonstrator

Technical experts from the DGA (French Ministry of Defense ? Defense Procurement Agency) have taken control of the airspace where NEURON has evolved. This control ensures that these flights are conducted safely in relation to other airspace users as well as compliance with regulations.

This flight is a major milestone in this ambitious project, and opens the way for next campaigns flight tests in Italy, Sweden and France. These tests are intended to demonstrate the flying capacities of the platform, but also to assess the stealth and combat skills.

The aircraft will continue to be tested in France until 2014 when it moves to Vidsel, Sweden for operational trials, and, finally, to the Perdadesfogu range Italy to measure stealth characteristics and live-firing tests.

The DGA provides overall project management of Neuron UCAV notified in 2006. It is the result of European cooperation including France together with Dassault Aviation as prime contractor,and five countries and their industrial partners: Italy (Alenia Aeronautica), Sweden (Saab), Spain (Eads-Casa), Greece (HAI) and Switzerland (Ruag).

Financed from the research budget of French Ministry of Defence, NEURON marks a major research efforts and the technology to maintain essential industrial skills. He inaugurated 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 on both engineering and industrial technologies.

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