The French press believes Spain is torpedoing the European project for a medium-sized long-range drone (MALE)

According to the major French newspaper La Tribune, which alludes to various sources that agree with this information, in 2021 Spain will no longer have a budget for the European medium and long-haul unmanned aerial system UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) or MALE (Medium Altitude Long) Endurance), the EuroMALE (also known as Eurodrone), developed between Germany, Spain, France and Italy and is already suffering from severe delays of three years since it was originally planned to start delivery in 2025 and then switch to 2029 run the risk of being delayed again due to our country.

According to these sources, the French newspaper, which is usually very well informed, Madrid has reallocated its budget in favor of the FCAS (Future Combat Air System) in order to be able to provide 2,000 billion euros to provide the same financial resources as Germany and Germany France and keep the same percentage of ownership. Airbus is leading the program thanks to German and Spanish participation and Dassault is participating on the French side and Leonardo on the Italian side. The program is administered by the OCCAR (Organization Conjointe de Coopration en matire d’Armement), which so far provides for the signing of the development contract this year, when it was last planned.

According to Moncloa sources, at the meeting between Pedro Sánchez, President of the Spanish Government, and Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer, Defense Minister Margarita Robles, regarding Euromale, said this was not the right time for this program. The press release issued by the district president on this meeting did not contain any announcement about the specific support programs for the European manufacturer, which had been agreed at the previous meeting on July 31st and which led to unrest at Airbus. Spain has indicated its interest in purchasing 4 systems of this type (with an option for another 2), i.e. 12 air platforms (options for 6) and 8 ground stations (options for 4), which are expected to be available in 2019.

The German Defense Ministry plans to present the program to the Bundestag at the end of March, but Airbus has not yet selected the engine manufacturer to equip it. Between the American General Electric or the French Safran, Italy is pushing for the choice of General Electric’s Italian subsidiary, Avio Aero, and if not, you could reconsider your financial stake. At the beginning of January, the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, declared that it was absolutely right that we would not have the Eurodrone before 2028. The French Air and Space Force intends to equip itself with 6 systems (18 aircraft). .

Photography: EuroMALE model.

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