nEUROn & Taranis: Euro FCAS Projects In Flight
December 23/16: A 12-month study has been ordered under a bilateral agreement between the French and British government , marking the next interim stage of the joint Future Combat Air System (FCAS ) program. It is hoped that the study will then lead to a full-scale demonstrator development program by the end of 2017, which has $1.87 billion earmarked for the production of two full-scale unmanned combat air vehicles. Companies to take part in the preparatory work include BAE Systems, Dassault, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Leonardo and Thales.
The European nEUROn project joins Britain’s Taranis UCAV, Russia’s MiG SKAT, Boeing’s X-45 Phantom Ray, and the US Navy’s X-47 UCAS-D program as unmanned aircraft projects with fighter-substitution potential.
Multinational projects are often fraught affairs, and Europe’s stealth Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) had its own close calls. In November 2005, a Forecast International report on the future UAV market saw political trouble coming for the proposed 6-nation nEUROn project, unless the partner nations could get their act together and agree. In the end, the project got rolling with committed funding of EUR 535 million and counting, and the French DGA (DÃ©lÃ©gation GÃ©nÃ©rale pour l’Armement) procurement agency acting as the program executive. This FOCUS article covers the Neuron program’s 3-fold goals, envisioned platform, program structure and schedule, and ongoing contracts and developments. In the wake a Franco-British joint UCAV development memo, Britain’s Taranis project has been added to this article in a separate coverage stream.
Neuron: The Aircraft
Neuron: The Program
Program Budgets & Schedules
Thunder or Echo? Britain’s Taranis UCAV
nEUROn: Contracts & Key Events
2011 – 2013
2008 – 2010
2006 – 2007
Taranis / FCAS: Contracts & Key Events
2013 – 2014
2007 – 2012
Additional Readings & Sources
Background: Britain’s Taranis et. al.
Background: Other UCAVs
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