Airbus Defence & Space and Sener Aerospace & Defense have signed a contract to develop both Wide Band and Narrow Band line-of-sight data link systems for the Eurodrone defense program.
The goal is to undertake the development, series production and logistic in-service life cycle support of the two subsystems that will connect the unmanned aircraft with the different ground stations.
The contract is part of the European defense program Eurodrone, which is being managed by the OCCAR on behalf of the partner countries. Spain, with a 23% stake, is part of the initial group of four nations that realized that international collaboration is the most suitable instrument for developing their capabilities in a balanced way in the field of Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), and since October 2016, it has partnered with Germany (31%), France (23%) and Italy (23%) to make the project a reality.
The consortium believes that the development of Eurodrone will guarantee Europe sovereignty in Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Recognition (ISTAR) in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and promote the European defense technology and industrial base in the participating countries, reducing the technological gap with the other global players that have traditionally dominated this field.
Once the regulation allows, Eurodrone could be integrated into civil air traffic and operate in non-segregated airspace, and it will become one of the main pillars of any foreseen aerial combat system, such as the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).
In a scenario where hyperconnectivity provides an edge in any area, and especially in the case of unmanned platforms, the development of sovereign technology becomes a strategic element. The awarding of the Eurodrone Data Link to Sener Aerospace & Defense fits with the company’s strategy and provides a significant industrial return to Spain. This development model is also reinforced by industrial collaboration thanks to a strategic agreement between Sener Aerospace & Defense and Hensoldt France SAS.