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(Photo: Dassault)The European Neuron unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator was rolled out on January 19 in what is shaping up to be a critical year for UCAVs in Europe.First flight of Neuron is planned for mid-2012 and BAE Systems also plans to fly the U.K.'s Taranis UCAV demonstrator this year.Neuron is a cooperative project led by France, with Italy and Sweden also playing critical roles, but Switzerland, Spain and Greece also involved. The industrial team is led by Dassault.Dassault says the software integration for Neuron is in its final stages, and ground and engine tests will start soon.This year, the U.K. and France will are also due to finalize terms of cooperation in the medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft segment. That is critical also for UCAVs, because success in cooperating on the MALE system (with Dassault and BAE Systems expected to be in charge of the work) could lead to the two countries working together also in the unmanned combat aircraft realm.
ar99, Neuron, unmanned
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