France and Germany are spearheading the development of the 5th generation fighter jets, as well as a range of associated weapons, which will include weaponized drones.
French defense minister Florence Parly highlighted the need to make the next-generation drone being developed by several European nations price competitive.
France and Germany are spearheading the development of a new manned fighter jet which will replace the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale fighter jet, as well as a range of associated weapons, including drones.
“I want to tell the companies that this program will only run its course if the drone that they propose is competitive,” said Parly at a speech at the Paris Airshow. “This is an issue not only for buyers already in the running — France, Germany, Spain and Italy — but also for future export customers.”
Airbus, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo in April, 2018, unveiled a first full-scaled model of the planned Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) drone at the Berlin air show.
The drone, featuring two turboprop engines, is scheduled to enter into service in the middle of the 2020s. Although initially it will focus on gathering intel, a weaponized version is also an option.
France’s Thales, Italy’s Elettronica, Germany’s Hensoldt, and Spain’s Indra said they would team up to offer intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance functions for the drone.