September 13, 2011 Beth Stevenson, SHEPARD GROUP
London - BAE Systems considers Telemos, its offering for the Anglo-French MALE UAV requirement alongside Dassault Aviation, as a 'strong bid' in light of how the two countries performed in recent operations in Libya.
Speaking at the DSEi exhibition in London on 13 September, a BAE representative described how the two countries were at the forefront of NATO operations in Libya, and therefore investment into technologies in these countries is vital.
However, he also pointed out that it is 'not just about politics, it has to be a good system as well'.
The UK has invested so much into BAE Systems’ UAV development that not recycling the technology 'would be madness', the official argued.
The requirements are roughly the same in terms of what the UK and French want from Telemos, and the companies are 'pretty much there' with their design.
According to industry sources, an RFI from the governments is expected within the next 6-12 months, and the successful system is expected to achieve IOC by 2018.
The 19 month procurement of BAE's Mantis UAV is an example used by the company to demonstrate the 'rapid engineering' that it is capable of.
Although BAE is using Mantis as the 'baseline technology' for the programme, the representative was quick to point out the system offered to the governments will be a new design to what has been seen before.
BAE Systems believes the new MALE system should be 'next generation' in UAV technology, and therefore should not be a re-used system, although it will inevitably use recycled technology.
An MoU was signed between the companies in March, and BAE expects to have a prototype design within a year of the RFI being released.