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
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
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
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