EADS Cassidian has awarded Saab the job of building crucial avionics for the Talarion unmanned air vehicle (UAV).
Saab will build and supply vehicle, payload and communications management computers for the medium altitude, long endurance (MALE) UAV. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2012, and the first order completed by 2014.
"The selection of Saab to provide mission and flight critical avionics equipment for this new advanced platform verify our position as a competitive supplier in the avionics market," says Micael Johansson, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab's business area Electronic Defence Systems.
The computers are based off a Saab common module, easily adaptable to a number of platforms. The details of the order, including the number of systems to be produced, have not been finalised, but Saab plans to deliver prototypes in 2013 and 2014.
Design and construction work will take place at Saab facilities in Jönköping and Järfälla, Sweden.
Despite the €500m ($684m) and climbing development costs of Talarion, another €300m is required to build a flying prototype, according to Cassidian chief executive Stefan Zoeller. Sales efforts targeted at ten prospective European customers, particularly Germany, France, Spain and Turkey, have thus far been unsuccessful, and the aircraft has no orders on the books. Falling military budgets have cast doubts upon the programme's ultimate success.