Benoit Dussaugey, Dassault Aviation Senior Executive Vice President, International, breaks down the technical, political, and economic aspects of the nEUROn program.
Over the next twenty years, the European fighter aircraft industry will be faced with three major challenges:
- the need to develop strategic technologies,
- the need to maintain centers of excellence in fields in which the European industry has developed technological niches,
- the goal of maintaining workload for its design offices.
To address this situation, in 2003, the French government took the initiative of launching a project to create a technological demonstrator of an Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV), developed as part of a European industrial cooperation program.
The aim of the nEUROn demonstrator is to provide European design offices with a project that drives them to develop their know-how and maintain their technological expertise for the years to come.
This project goes much further than the theoretical studies conducted thus far, as it includes the construction and preparation for flight of an unmanned aircraft demonstrator.
It is also a means of implementing an innovative process in terms of managing and organizing a European cooperation program.
To ensure absolute effectiveness, a single decision-making point, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA), and a single execution point, Dassault Aviation as prime contractor, have been established to manage the program.
The Italian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, and Swiss governments, along with their industrial teams, Alenia, SAAB, EADS-CASA, Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) and RUAG, have joined the French initiative.