Cassidian and Alenia Team on Future UAS Projects

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Cassidian on behalf of EADS Deutschland GmbH and Alenia Aeronautica S.p.A. to jointly investigate the potential cooperation in the field of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV).

Alenia and Cassidian are aiming to strengthen their technological know-how in order to establish a leading role in the UAS market. Under this agreement, the two companies will analyze the requirements expressed by each of their respective Governments in the UAS sector with the objective to create a strategic partnership and to expand their global UAS market share.

Giuseppe Giordo, CEO of Alenia Aeronautica and Alenia Aermacchi who is also responsible for Finmeccanica’s Aeronautics Sector, commented: “The signing of this agreement is important for Alenia Aeronautica because it alllows us to collaborate with a capable player in the sector of UAS, favouring the growth of our ability to design, build, integrate and support a complex system for the global market, both civil and military. The UAS sector has a strategic importance for the future of Alenia Aeronautica’s programmes and we are convinced that this agreement will allow us to become even more competitive in this quickly expanding market.”

Bernhard Gerwert, Chief Operating Officer of Cassidian, said: “We look forward to investigate further collaboration with Alenia Aeronautica around a next-generation MALE UAS, like for instance, the Talarion which is of outmost importance for Europe’s military aviation industry. It will fulfill government security missions and commercial applications which cannot be implemented with current solutions and their derivatives.”

Talarion is the European programme for a next-generation Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to fulfil the requirements initially placed by France, Germany and Spain for future unmanned long endurance surveillance and reconnaissance missions. First flight of the prototype is scheduled for 2015 with first series deliveries starting in 2018.

By joining forces with Alenia, Cassidian has strengthened its long-running campaign to advance the Talarion air vehicle design for a range of military surveillance roles. The MALE concept was created to meet the operational needs of France, Germany and Spain, but has so far failed to secure a launch order. Cassidian is self-funding development activities, and has also previously flown the Barracuda UCAV demonstrator.

Alenia’s investment in unmanned systems technologies has included flight test campaigns with MALE and UCAV demonstrators, respectively named Sky-Y and Sky-X. It is also involved in the Dassault-led Neuron unmanned combat air vehicle demonstration programme, which should achieve flight status during 2012.

This new industrial development pits Alenia and Cassidian against France’s Dassault and BAE Systems of the UK in collaborating on unmanned air vehicles. Initially linked to the Telemos project, the Anglo-French pact could lead to the delivery of operational MALE systems in the 2015-2020 timeframe, before also later encompassing a UCAV development.

Sources: Press Release, Flight Global

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