Monday, January 17, 2011

Three groups to fight for Anglo-French UCAV contract

SOURCE : Dailytelegraph Three aerospace groups are competing to design and build the next generation of unmanned military attack aircraft for a £600 million ($952 million) proposal launched jointly by Britain and France.The groups involved in the bid were BAE Systems partnered with France’s Dassault Systems, a joint bid by Cobham and General Atomics and, thirdly, Airbus- owner EADS, which held partnership discussions with the missiles group MBDA and France’s Thales. The UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) must be able to perform civilian duties, such as coastal surveillance or providing security and intelligence, as well as having offensive capability, the UK government said. Dassault/BAE is likely to propose BAE ’s Mantis UAV, while EADS will put forward its Talarion drone and Cobham/ General Atomics will enter its Predator model. An industry source said British and French forces want a more advanced aircraft than the Royal Air Force’s Reaper UAV attack model, produced by General Atomics.

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