A war of words has broken out in France over the long unmet requirement for a new medium altitude long-endurance UAV.
EADS thought it had a leg up on the competition, winning a development contract for its Advanced UAV system -- a modular, new design. The program is aimed at future French, German, and Spanish needs.
But Dassault, Thales and Indra have now teamed up to offer the Israel Aerospace Industries-developed Heron TP for the same requirement. Moreover, executives for the new team say their proposal comes with lower risk -- Heron TP has already flown -- and a much lower price tag.
But EADS CEO Louis Gallois, speaking at the Eurosatory conference in the Paris suburbs, disputes that notion. The higher performance of the Advanced UAV means fewer are needed so total system cost will be lower, he argues. Moreover, he notes that the Advanced UAV is a European solution, not dependent on foreign technology.