Saturday, July 13, 2024

Airbus’ Eurodrone gets one step closer to production

The Eurodrone program has achieved a significant milestone with the successful completion of the Preliminary Design Review (PDR). This important accomplishment was led by Airbus Defence and Space as the prime contractor, with the participation of OCCAR and representatives from the four customer nations (France, Germany, Italy, and Spain), along with the three Major Sub-Contractors (MSC) – Airbus Defence and Space Spain, Dassault Aviation, and Leonardo.

The successful completion of the PDR signifies the continuous improvement of the aircraft’s initial design, setting the stage for the next phase of detailed design. It is the result of various technical assessments and evaluations, including Wind Tunnel Testing to validate the aerodynamic configuration of Eurodrone, overall design to demonstrate operational capability, and the validation of a fully representative Digital Twin. The Eurodrone program benefits from a combination of physical and digital design philosophies from its inception.

Building on the accumulated knowledge, the Eurodrone program now progresses toward the Critical Design Review (CDR), which will mark the final step in architecture and system design.

“Performing the Preliminary Design Review for the development of Eurodrone represents an important step forward for this key European defense program,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Air Power at Airbus Defence and Space. “It shows a real joint effort and collaborative spirit from all industrial partners and the Customer community to ensure European sovereignty and independence in this critical segment of unmanned long endurance ISTAR capability.”

Designed with cutting-edge technology, the Eurodrone is poised to serve as a crucial component of any future combat air system. It will provide essential capabilities for international conflict prevention and crisis management, ensuring operational superiority, particularly in Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

The Eurodrone set to take flight by 2027, will be an impressive sight to behold. With a wingspan of 85 feet and a height of 19 feet, it will surpass the size of the A-10 Thunderbolt II. Powered by General Electric turboprop engines, the Eurodrone is designed to reach speeds of up to 310 mph and carry a maximum payload of 5,000 pounds. 

Capable of reaching altitudes of 45,000 feet and with an estimated flight time of 40 hours, the Eurodrone is poised to be a game-changer in military aviation.