OCCAR: European MALE RPAS programme advances

By Defence Industry Europe

The Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) has announced a progression in the Eurodrone project, officially known as the Medium Altitude Long Endurance – Remotely Piloted Air System (MALE-RPAS). The first amendment of the "Stage 2 Development, Production, and Initial In-Service Support Contract" was signed at OCCAR's office.


The amendment was executed by the MALE-RPAS Programme Manager on behalf of the OCCAR-EA Director and a representative from the Eurodrone Customer Partnership Management of Airbus Defence and Space GmbH. This contractual modification introduces new training and service options, as well as incorporating additional features requested by the participating states.



Launched in 2016, the MALE RPAS programme has met numerous milestones, including a Definition Study to harmonize requirements among Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. This study concluded successfully in 2018 with both a System Requirement Review (SRR) and a System Preliminary Design Review (SPDR). A global contract covering development, production, and initial support for 20 systems—comprising 60 aircraft and 40 ground control stations—was secured in February 2022 with Airbus Defence and Space GmbH acting as the Prime Contractor, alongside major subcontractors like Airbus Defence and Space S.A.U, Leonardo, and Dassault.

In 2021, the programme received a financial boost from the European Commission under the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), enabling further collaboration with industrial partners.



With the preliminary and critical design reviews completed, the manufacturing of the first Eurodrone prototype is set to commence in 2024, aiming for serial delivery by the end of the decade. This initiative represents a crucial development in European defence, enhancing collaborative combat capabilities and ensuring that European nations remain equipped with cutting-edge technology.



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