EU powers to jointly produce new-generation drones

Nov 19, 2013
Visitors take pictures on French Dassault Aviation stand of models of "Telemos," a MALE drone project, at Eurosatory 2012 defence and security exhibition in Villepinte near Paris on June 11, 2012

Several EU nations including France and Germany agreed Tuesday to join forces to develop new-generation drones, in a bid to close a gaping deficiency in the bloc's defence industry.

EU defence ministers meeting in Brussels approved a series of projects to develop Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) pilotless aircraft from 2020.

Heads of state and government will formally greenlight the projects at an EU summit next month focusing on defence cooperation.

"If Europe hopes to maintain a strategic capability, countries must pool their capacities and actions in a pragmatic way," said French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian after the talks.

He welcomed the creation of a "club of drone-using countries" that will cooperate on training, certification, logistics, maintenance and future projects.

The grouping so far includes seven nations: France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

The European Defence Agency meanwhile will work on a combined investment programme to develop the use of drones for both military and civil purposes, such as border surveillance, fire fighting or disaster and environmental monitoring.

EU nations currently use Israeli or US military but do not have certification to fly them in European airspace.

Three big industrial groups, EADS, France's Dassault Aviation and Italy's Finmeccanica offered in June to work together to develop a MALE if given the go-ahead by governments.

Ministers also called for cooperation in developing air-refuelling capabilities after EU nations were obliged to rely on the United States during the NATO-led air campaign in Libya in 2011.

Explore further: EU climate chief revives airline carbon tax proposal

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU climate chief revives airline carbon tax proposal

Oct 16, 2013

The EU's top climate-change official said Wednesday that Brussels was within its rights to tax airlines for emissions in its airspace, reviving a controversial proposal that drew a storm of criticism.

EU urges global deal on airline pollution

Sep 24, 2013

The EU on Tuesday urged nations to accept a compromise on plans to curb airline carbon emissions at a key UN conference, though resistance to striking an overall deal remains fierce.

Recommended for you

Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

1 hour ago

The work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan's Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi "Scott" Huang of Michigan Tech's ...

Large streams of data warn cars, banks and oil drillers

Apr 16, 2014

Better warning systems that alert motorists to a collision, make banks aware of the risk of losses on bad customers, and tell oil companies about potential problems with new drilling. This is the aim of AMIDST, the EU project ...

User comments : 0

More news stories