> our title:

Euro Ministers Plan Joint MALE UAV Project

> original title:

Defence Ministers Commit to Capability Programmes

(Source: European Defence Agency; issued Nov 19, 2013)

BRUSSELS --- At the meeting of the European Defence Agency’s Steering Board, Defence Ministers today committed to the launch of four programmes and their associated roadmaps in order to address critical shortfalls identified in recent operations.

Increased cooperation in the areas of Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR), Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), Governmental Satellite Communication and Cyber Defence as well as support to industry including SMEs with a focus on research & innovation, and military airworthiness certification result from the meeting.

They will also constitute a contribution of Defence Ministers to the European Council in December addressing defence and security issues.

The objective of the EDA Steering Board on 19 November was to finalise Defence Ministers’ contribution to the European Council in December as regards capabilities and industry. Against the backdrop of constrained defence budgets, the focus is on the preparation of the capabilities of tomorrow through cooperation, supported by a healthy and competitive industry as well as technology.


Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)
RPAS have proven their value in the military sphere in recent operations demonstrating their operational capacities, particularly for surveillance and information gathering. Defence Ministers endorsed a roadmap on RPAS which aims at laying the foundations for a European solution in the 2020-2025 timeframe. The roadmap includes four actions:

-- RPAS Certification.
In the context of the Military Airworthiness Forum, the Agency is exploring together with national authorities and the European Aviation Safety Agency how to streamline the certification process for military RPAS on the European level.

-- Signature of a Joint Investment Programme on RPAS for Air Traffic Insertion.
The programme will focus on technological priorities such as sense and avoid, taxi, automatic take-off and landing, air traffic management interfaces, safe automated monitoring and decision architecture. These demonstration projects will be complementary to the activities of the European Commission in support of RPAS in order to seek synergies. Eight Member States (AT, BE, CZ, DE, ES, FR, IT, UK) signed the programme during the Steering Board.

-- Future European RPAS MALE Programme.
Defence Ministers today endorsed the Common Staff Target for Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) RPAS as the basis for those Member States which intend to participate in any future project to develop a Common Staff Requirement; in this context Ministers tasked EDA to prepare the launch of a Category B project.

-- Establishment of a MALE RPAS community.
The objective of this community is to exchange information as well as to identify and facilitate cooperation among Member States which currently operate or plan to operate RPAS. At the Steering Board meeting on 19 November 2013 seven Member States (FR, DE, EL, ES, IT, NL, and PL) signed a Letter of Intent to join the Community.

Click here for a Factsheet (2 PDF pages) on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.