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European, US UCAV Programs Win Awards

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Dassault Aviation and the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) Awarded by Aviation Week for the nEUROn Programme

(Source: Dassault Aviation; issued March 7, 2014)

SAINT-CLOUD, France --- Yesterday, at a ceremony held in Washington DC by the well-known defence and aeronautics magazine Aviation Week, Dassault Aviation and the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA - Direction generale de l'armement ) were announced winner of the Laureate Awards, for the nEUROn programme, Europe's unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV).

This price, that honors the values and visions of the global aerospace and defence industry, salutes the technological challenges performed and the innovative industrial solutions designed to develop the first large size stealth platform made in Europe, the nEUROn technological demonstrator.

Initiated by the French government in 2003 through the French Defence Procurement Agency with Dassault Aviation as prime contractor, the aim of the programme was to demonstrate the maturity and the effectiveness of technical solutions to face the main challenges of the future combat aircraft industry for the next twenty years.

The need to develop strategic technologies, the necessity to uphold advanced skills in areas in which the French industry has gained technical competences and fields of excellence, and the goal to provide workload to the design offices have led the nEUROn programme to be one of the most important for the defence sector.

The success of the nEUROn maiden flight, the 1st December 2012, validates the capability of the French industry to prepare the future of manned or unmanned combat aircraft systems.

It also illustrates the will of the French Authorities to be a major actor to the build-up of the future of defence, and the strategic commitment of Dassault Aviation to design and develop the best technologies to propose the outmost innovative operational solutions.

With more than 8,000 military and civil aircraft delivered to 83 countries over the past 60 years, and having logged nearly 28 million flight hours to date, Dassault Aviation can offer recognized know-how and experience in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, from the Rafale fighter to the Falcon range of high-end business jets, as well as military unmanned air systems. In 2013, Dassault Aviation reported revenues of EURO4.59 billion, with around 11,600 employees. (ends)

Navy’s X-47B Team Receives Prestigious Aviation Award

(Source: Naval Air Systems Command; issued Mar 7, 2014)

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. --- The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) team was honored by Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine as a winner of the publication’s prestigious Laureate Awards during a ceremony held March 6 in Washington, D.C.

Recognized for its work in the Aeronautics and Propulsion category, the X-47B UCAS-D team demonstrated the capability to operate a tailless, full-size Unmanned Air System (UAS) in the carrier environment, a first for naval aviation.

"It has truly been a phenomenal year for this team," said Rear Adm. Mat Winter, who oversees the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons. "This award is a well-deserved recognition for the X-47B team and underpins the historical significance and dedication of the hundreds of civilian, military and industry teammates who were instrumental in executing the technical achievements required to operate the first-ever carrier-capable UAS."

Because of the UCAS-D team’s efforts, the X-47B conducted the first-ever launch and recovery of an unmanned air vehicle from a carrier at-sea. In 2013, the X-47B conducted eight catapult launches, 30 touch-and-goes and seven arrested landings while aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

“Our combined Navy and Northrop Grumman industry team is most deserving of this elite recognition for its tireless efforts to meet program objectives, while successfully demonstrating and maturing the critical technologies required for a carrier suitable, persistent unmanned air system,” said Capt. Beau Duarte, program manager for the Unmanned Carrier Aviation Program Office at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Duarte said the team continues to refine the concept of operations to fully demonstrate the effective integration of unmanned carrier-based aircraft within the current carrier environment to reduce technical risk for the follow-on Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program.

The X-47B demonstration activities have validated the feasibility to operate unmanned aircraft in the harsh carrier environment and has helped develop the concept of operations and demonstrate the required technologies for a future unmanned carrier-based system.

Established more than 50 years ago, the Aviation Week Laureate Awards recognize the accomplishments of individuals and teams in the aerospace, aviation and defense industry, according to the organization’s website. The finalists’ “achievements embody the spirit of exploration, innovation and vision that inspire others to strive for significant, broad-reaching progress in these fields,” the website said.