The purpose of the contract awarded by the DGA is to identify, deploy and test the technologies necessary for the integration of a tactical drone-system capacity within a heavily armed vessel
Naval Group and Airbus Helicopters consortium has been awarded a contract for technology development in the field of rotary-wing drones by the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement), a statement issued by the consortium said.
The contract covers de-risking studies ahead of construction of a future tactical helicopter drone demonstrator aboard warships. The statement further said the demonstration project will lead to trials of the drone launch system, mission system and airborne vehicle, conducted from a French Navy vessel.
The aim of the contract, according to Naval Group and Airbus Helicopters, is to identify, deploy and test the technologies necessary for the integration of a tactical drone-system capacity within a heavily armed vessel. It also forms part of the preparation of the SDAM (Navy Airborne Drone System), whose entry into service is foreseen for the middle of the next decade on new Intermediate-Size Frigates (FTIs) and other French Navy ships.
President and CEO of Naval Group, Hervé Guillou said, “We are proud to have been selected by the DGA together with our long-standing partner Airbus Helicopters to allow the French Navy to integrate aerial drone systems into its units and strengthen its operational capabilities. This study also allows us to structure a world-leading industrial sector in this field. Naval Group thus confirms its capacity for innovation and technical mastery of naval systems and its role of whole warship architecture in the aero-naval domain”.