Sweden First to Join European UCAV Demonstrator Program


Released on Monday, December 22, 2003
France
Germany
Italy
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom
NEURON
X-45C
ETAP - European Technology Acquisition Program
UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
UCAV - Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
The Swedish government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French government about the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator program managed by the French DGA.

Sweden will become the first European country along with France to join this initiative aimed to study concept feasibility and affordability for an European UCAV aircraft to be fielded between 2008 and 2020.

According to Saab sources, French Dassault Aviation will act as program's prime contractor and Saab will be its principal partner.

Dassault and Saab expect to gain expertise in the domains of UAV cutting-edge technology such as: advanced aeronautics, unmanned flight, stealth technology and network based defense.

The French DGA, the French armaments procurement agency, should award Dassault Aviation a €300 million ($360 million) contract for UCAV development and demonstration program. France and Sweden will fund the entire program along with other potential partners that could join the UCAV program in the future.

According to DGA, UCAV demonstrator first flight is due in 2008.

France seeks to keep Europe's autonomy in the high-tech combat aircraft domain through the UCAV program intended as the European counterpart for American J-UCAS program.

In addition, UCAV program will complement ETAP (European Technology Acquisition Program) being carried out jointly between France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Sweden. ETAP should provide combat aircraft technology needed beyond 2020.

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