France begins naval tests of Dassault nEUROn

FS Charles de Gaulle. Photo: US Navy

DGA, the French General Directorate for Armament, announced that it has started a new testing campaign for its unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), Dassault nEUROn.

The aim of this round of testing, as DGA said, is to study the use of the UCAV in a naval context.

DGA said the campaign would also include sea trials aboard the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle. The aircraft will subsequently undergo electromagnetic signature measurement in Bruz, France.

nEUROn is a European program for an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator, conducted by Dassault Aviation as prime contractor under the authority of French defense procurement agency DGA.

The aircraft is 10 meters long, has a wingspan of 12.5 meters and an empty weight of 5 tons. It is powered by a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca “Adour” engine.

The project is joined by Italian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek and Swiss governments acting together with their related industrial teams, Alenia, SAAB, EADS-CASA, Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) and RUAG.

Launched in 2005, nEUROn started first flights in December 2012 and reached a milestone of 100 flights in March 2015.

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