They want to build together a more effective defense. France and Britain will invest “more than 2 billion euros” in a joint program of manufacturing operational combat drones in 2030, according to a declaration signed Thursday by the two countries at a summit Franco-British in Amiens, northern France.
This is the first time that Paris and London encrypt their total financial commitment to this project, they had laid the foundation at a previous summit in 2014 in Brize Norton in central England .
A technical review planned in 2020
“This demonstration program, the most advanced in Europe, will focus on a platform of versatile drones that could serve basis for future operational capacity beyond 2030, “recalls the joint statement. “We plan to invest more than € 2 billion in the program, with technical balance sheet 2020,” the document signed in the presence of French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
France and the United Kingdom had agreed in January 2014 in Brize Norton to work together on “a future air combat system” (FCAS, Future Combat Air System). In November of that year, they had loaded industrialists from both countries, the French group Dassault combat aircraft Rafale manufacturer and the British BAE Systems, a feasibility study to which they were allocated 150 million euros.
Step in 2017
According to the declaration signed Thursday in Amiens, Paris and London hope “to move on to the next phase in 2017 to prepare the Full-scale development of operational demonstrator air combat drones by 2025 “.
The ultimate goal is to develop a UCAV able in 2030 to make such observation and monitoring missions to identify targets and carry out strikes , according to the British Ministry of Defense. Britain already has drones armed with missiles, purchased in the United States. France has only unarmed UAVs for observation. The future Franco-British drone had intended to be used in a hostile area prior to use aircraft of classic hunting.
Dassault has already developed a stealth drone, called Neuron demonstrator to test and develop technologies that are just used for future FCAS. BAE Systems has also developed his side the Taranis drone.
For an Anglo-French defense more effectively
The Franco-British program of combat drones are part of military treaties Lancaster House, concluded between London and Paris in 2010. for manufacturers of the two countries involved in the project, the issue is also not to be left behind in this sector by Américains.Outre Dassault and BAE Systems, the development of FCAS must also involve Rolls-Royce and Safran groups, responsible for propulsion, as well as Thales and Selex ES (Finmeccanica group) for embedded electronics and sensors.
In a joint statement, Dassault Aviation and its partners have welcomed “the common will of France and the United Kingdom to continue cooperation in military aeronautics, and in particular to launch a new phase in 2017 with the development scale + 1 + an operational demonstrator UCAS (Unmanned Combat Air System) “. “It is important to prepare for the future in the strategic area of combat drones,” said the CEO of Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier, quoted in the text.