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24 avril 2018 2 24 /04 /avril /2018 15:41
Elettronica, Hensoldt, Indra and Thales propose a joint offer for a future-proof Mission Sub-System for European MALE drone programme

Elettronica, Hensoldt, Indra and Thales propose a joint offer for a future-proof Mission Sub-System for European MALE drone programme


Berlin, 24 April 2018 – CP Thales Group


Four European Champions in the area of Defence Mission Systems intend to combine their unique and complementary capabilities to provide the MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) drone programme of France, Germany, Italy and Spain – designated European MALE RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) – with a future-proof ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) function.


The companies Elettronica, Hensoldt, Indra and Thales signed a memorandum of agreement, in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, confirming their common goal to offer a coherent ISTAR functional chain for the MALE RPAS comprising all elements from sensors and computing through data processing and communications. The team is open to cooperation with other companies.


The four companies will bring their longstanding experience and technology leadership in Defence electronics and mission systems into the joint approach, thereby substantially reducing the inherent risk of such challenging programme. This will safeguard the target-oriented implementation in time and cost while guaranteeing the growth potential required to address future tasks.


“The future operating environment of Air Forces will bring a variety of flying platforms into one force-multiplying network”, said Hensoldt-CEO Thomas Müller. “The close cooperation of the various platforms’ mission systems is paramount to leverage the advantage of such highly complex network. Therefore, the architecture of the new RPAS mission system must be in the hands of the subject-matter experts from the start, tailoring its development irrespective of single platform aspects.”


“Thales, Hensoldt, Elettronica and Indra, have big ambitions based on a shared vision of the digital transformation of their industries and customers. Thales will be using its expertise in Defence Mission Systems mastering four key digital technologies of Connectivity, Big Data, AI, and Cybersecurity. We offer our clients decisive technologies to take the best decision in real time.” said Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO at Thales.


“We are building industrial cooperation in Europe and preparing for a future in which Defence investments will be mainly performed at European level. This alliance will pave the way for future large programmes currently being defined in Europe” said Ignacio Mataix, Executive Director at Indra.


“Our long term experience in collaboration programmes and our mindset will be beneficial in terms of risk reduction and full capability achievement. The teaming with our historical European partners will lead to a high level of success” said Enzo Benigni, Chairman and CEO of Elettronica.


The European MALE RPAS programme is managed by the European procurement agency OCCAR. A Definition Study contract was signed on 26 August 2016 with the European aircraft manufacturers Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault and Leonardo. The Development Phase is expected to be launched in 2019.


About Elettronica

Established in 1951, Elettronica has supplied electronic defence systems to the Armed Forces of 28 countries in five continents since its inception. The company designs, produces and fields a range of products that cover all aspects of Electronic Warfare: for naval, land, air and cyber environments and all Electronic Defence application segments in the radar bands, infrared and communications bands.

The company core business is concentrated on EW being active in international projects, the majority of which implemented through collaboration agreements and joint ventures, which ensure a direct presence in the various strategic markets.

The company is strongly projected into the future and responds to the significant changes in this sector, actively participating in major industrial European consortiums.



About Hensoldt

Hensoldt is a global pioneer of technology and innovation in the area of defence and security electronics. Headquartered in Munich, the company is a market leader in civilian and military sensor solutions, developing new products to counter evolving threats based on disruptive concepts in such fields as big data, robotics and cyber security. With a workforce of some 4,300 employees, Hensoldt generates revenues of more than 1 billion euros per year.



About Indra

Indra is a leading global consulting and technology company, and the technology partner for the core business operations of its clients' businesses throughout the world. It is one of the world's largest providers of proprietary solutions in specific segments of the Transport and Defense markets and a bellwether in Information Technology in Spain and Latin America. The company provides a comprehensive range of high added-value proprietary solutions and cutting-edge services in technology, and a singular culture of reliability, flexibility and adaptability to the needs of its customers. Indra is a world leader in developing end-to-end technology solutions in fields such as Defense and Security, Transport and Traffic, Energy and Industry, Telecommunications and Media, Financial Services, Electoral Processes, and Public Administrations and Healthcare. Its Minsait unit addresses the challenges posed by digital transformation. In 2017 Indra posted a revenue of €3.011 billion, employed 40,000 professionals, and had a local presence in 46 countries with sales operations in over 140 countries.



About Thales

The people we all rely on to make the world go round – they rely on Thales.

Our customers come to us with big ambitions: to make life better, to keep us safer. Combining a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, our architects design and deliver extraordinary high technology solutions. Solutions that make tomorrow possible, today. From the bottom of the oceans to the depth of space and cyberspace, we help our customers think smarter and act faster - mastering ever greater complexity and every decisive moment along the way. With 65,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €15.8 billion in 2017.


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17 mai 2017 3 17 /05 /mai /2017 09:50
EDA Defence Industry workshop looking at the long-term outlook for RPAS

16.05.2017 source EU Defence Agency

EDA has opened a call for submissions from defence industry representatives on the topic of Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS). This call is in response to the agreement between EDA defence ministers to develop a more structured and regular dialogue with industry. In this domain, the EDA has developed an approach that is supported by Member States and invites defence industry representatives and research institutes to respond to the call for papers (attachment below). Submissions must be sent to the EDA by the 16th of June 2017.

The aim of the process is to enrich the CDP long-term view with industry inputs on the long term perspective of the industrial and technological outlook for specific capability areas. This will not be a forum for discussing the commercial aspects of current systems but a dialogue intended to explore the long-term (20 years ahead) aspects of military warfare focused on Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS).

The EDA will hold a one day workshop on the 12th of September 2017. Selected industry representatives will be invited to share their views of long-term outlooks focusing on the questions listed in the questionnaire. Speakers will be selected based on this call for papers, which will be evaluated by the EDA. Submissions are sought from as wide as possible a range of industries involved in aspects of development related to RPAS. Though responses to all questions in the questionnaire are encouraged, submitters may develop answers to specific questions in greater detail based on their area of expertise. This will allow thematic discussion panels to be formed. Submissions will be judged on their innovativeness and relevance as well as ability to stimulate discussion on the future role of RPAS in the military context. Participation in this call for papers is open to companies of any size as well as academic, semi-governmental research institutes and associations or grouping of industrial suppliers.


How to submit

Download the call for papers here: Annex to EDA201705069 - CDP Industry Questionnaire

Send your completed files to cps@eda.europa.eu with a copy to aleksandrs.bucens@eda.europa.eu

Deadline for submissions is the 16th of June 2017

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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 10:50
Drone - UAV (photo Armée de l'Air, Armée de Terre, Onera,Dassault Aviation)

Drone - UAV (photo Armée de l'Air, Armée de Terre, Onera,Dassault Aviation)


12 oct. 2015 Ministère de la Défense


Over the last decade, it has become an essential asset in military interventions. Now the preferred means of carrying out reconnaissance and observation, the drone is a source of fascination. As France and the UK prepare to work together to develop futuristic drones capable of carrying out strikes on the enemy, the Journal de la Défense takes a closer look at this rapidly evolving military resource.

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10 octobre 2015 6 10 /10 /octobre /2015 11:50
Britain to increase UAV fleet, modernize Special Forces gear

Oct 5, 2015 (UPI)


Britain is to replace and double its fleet of remotely piloted aircraft and modernize equipment of its Special Forces.

The investment, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron, is part of the 2015 Strategic Defense and Security Review.

"In order to equip UK intelligence agencies and British Armed forces with the capabilities they need to keep the streets of Britain safe, the prime minister has announced that the RAF will replace the existing fleet of 10 Reaper aircraft with more than 20 of the latest generation of RPAS, which will be called Protector and will carry the very latest technology," the Ministry of Defensee said.

"With a greater range and endurance, the new Protector aircraft will dramatically increase the UK's ability to identify, track, deter and ultimately counter potential threats. Combined with the increase in the size of the fleet, this will substantially enhance the UK's global intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability.

For its Special Force, the Ministry of Defense said, new specialist weapons and clothing will be procured to ensure that the force "remains at the cutting edge of technology, giving them a clear advantage over enemies."

Additional details of the procurement of RPAs and Special Forces equipment was not elaborated upon.

The Reaper currently used by Britain is made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Cameron, who made the announcement in a newspaper interview, gave no information on the Protector RPA, including its manufacturer.

"The duty of the UK Government is to keep our country safe and we must do more as the threats we face evolve," said Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. "We must adapt and stay ahead of our enemies.

"This investment package will enhance our ability to address these sophisticated dangers both at home and abroad, allowing us to intervene with speed and precision to protect the people of the UK and our international partners."

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14 septembre 2015 1 14 /09 /septembre /2015 16:50
Strong interest for MIDCAS results advancing European RPAS air traffic integration

Brussels - 11 September, 2015 European Defence Agency

The MIDCAS (Mid Air Collision Avoidance System) consortium together with the European Defence Agency (EDA) announced the final results of the MIDCAS project at the final stakeholder workshop in Brussels. Major milestones included flight tests with fully automatic avoidance manoeuvres of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). 


Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) represent an important part of future aviation. RPAS operations are expected to benefit European citizens in the fields of security, disaster relief and many other activities. It is therefore important that RPAS can fly in non-segregated airspace together with today's manned aviation. MIDCAS as the European Detect and Avoid project is a cornerstone to prepare a safe integration of RPAS in non-segregated airspace. 


The sixth and final MIDCAS Workshop in Brussels 

Since 2010, five MIDCAS stakeholder workshops have been organised providing opportunity for valuable discussions and exchange of information with stakeholders about the project results and findings. The final workshop, which took place 8 and 9 September, provided a summary of the project, final results and conclusions regarding operational and technical recommendations. ”About a hundred committed and engaged stakeholders from around the world took part in the workshop. This manifests the will and necessity of working together to bring Detect and Avoid to a conclusion” says Johan Pellebergs, MIDCAS project leader. 


Flight tests and simulations

Flights with a demonstrator Detect & Avoid (D&A) system integrated in the Sky-Y RPAS test bed have been successful. Fully automatic coupled avoidance manoeuvres were performed by the RPAS based on combined cooperative and non-cooperative detection as well as non-cooperative detection only against manned aircraft on collision course. Flight tests have covered numerous scenarios and sensor combinations bringing RPAS traffic integration a significant step closer to reality. The Detect and Avoid system tested, performs collision avoidance and traffic avoidance using data fusion for various combinations of the included detection technologies. 

Several types of simulations including Monte Carlo simulations, real-time simulations and Air Traffic Control operational simulations have also been performed to validate the system and operational requirements successfully. 


MIDCAS is the European Detect & Avoid Project 

The MIDCAS project was launched in 2009 by five contributing Member States (France, Germany, Italy and Spain under the lead of Sweden) under the framework of the European Defence Agency, with a total budget of €50 million. “EDA together with its participating Member States are committed to the operation of RPAS in European airspace coordinated with all other military and civilian traffic. MIDCAS has taken a key step forward to prepare the next generation of high performance European RPAS”, Peter Round, EDA Capability, Armament & Technology Director, says. 

MIDCAS has been carried out by an industrial consortium composed of eleven partners: Saab (project leader) from Sweden, Sagem and Thales from France, Airbus D&S, Diehl BGT Defence, DLR and ESG from Germany, Alenia Aermacchi, Selex ES, CIRA from Italy and Indra from Spain. Throughout the project, external stakeholders such as EASA, EUROCONTROL, EUROCAE and JARUS, were involved in the process. 


More information:

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19 juin 2015 5 19 /06 /juin /2015 09:55
Création d’une chaire « Systèmes de drones » à l’ENAC


19 juin 2015 source Aerobuzz.fr


L’ENAC, avec le soutien de Cofely Ineo (GDF Suez) et de Sagem (Safran), annonce la création de la première Chaire française de recherche et d’enseignement dédiée à l’intégration des drones dans l’espace aérien (durée initiale de 3 ans).


Les travaux des chercheurs de la chaire, avec l’appui des équipes de l’ENAC, permettront de favoriser le développement de procédures et de standards pour l’exploitation de systèmes de drones soumis à certification, afin d’ouvrir la voie aux applications civiles de drones dans un contexte national et international.


La Chaire favorisera également le développement d’échanges et de réflexions autour de la thématique « Systèmes de Drones » entre les entreprises partenaires et les élèves du cycle ingénieurs (spécialisation « Drones » ouverte en 2014), les étudiants des masters et mastères spécialisés de l’ENAC.


Enfin, la Chaire entend partager ses travaux par le biais de manifestations et de publications auprès d’un large public (étudiants, industriels, acteurs institutionnels, etc.) et à les valoriser auprès des organismes nationaux et européens en charge de faire évoluer la réglementation dans le domaine des drones civils.

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19 juin 2015 5 19 /06 /juin /2015 06:55
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air


18/06/2015 Capitaine Karim Djemaï - Armée de l'air


Le centre d’excellence « drones » (CED), installé sur la base aérienne 701 de Salon-de-Provence, a intégré le réseau Provence Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Network du pôle Pégase.


Cette annonce a été officialisée, jeudi 18 juin 2015, au Salon international de l’aéronautique et de l’espace du Bourget, par M. Michel Fiat, directeur du pôle Pégase, en présence du général Denis Mercier, chef d’état-major de l’armée de l’air et du général Francis Pollet, commandant l’École de l’air et la base aérienne 701 de Salon-de-Provence.

 « L’arrivée du CED au sein du Provence RPAS Network permet d’apporter l’expertise de l’armée de l’air dans le domaine de la formation, de la certification et de l’évaluation de nouveaux systèmes et concepts », estime le colonel Jean-François Héry-Goisnard, représentant de l’École de l’air auprès du pôle Pégase. « L’obtention de ce label est une reconnaissance de la qualité du CED, détaille quant à lui le général Pollet. Cela renforce notre crédibilité vis-à-vis du monde industriel et favorise le développement de synergies. »

Créé en mai 2006, le pôle Pégase est un pôle de compétitivité, dont l’activité essentielle est essentiellement centrée autour de l’aéronautique. L’École de l’air est membre du comité exécutif du pôle Pégase depuis les origines.


photo Armée de l'Airphoto Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

Le centre d’expertise drones de Salon-de-Provence

Afin de répondre à ses besoins croissants en formation et à sa volonté d’anticiper en matière d’innovation, l’armée de l’air a créé un centre d’excellence « drones » (CED) sur la base aérienne 701 de Salon-de-Provence. Un échelon de préfiguration a ainsi vu le jour en septembre 2014 et a accueilli ses premiers stagiaires en 2015 (Sensor Operators, opérateurs de mini-drones, stagiaires de haut niveau…).

Le CED possède une double vocation : former et innover. Le centre d’excellence « drones » compte ainsi un ensemble de moyens techniques afin de constituer un Mission Lab (laboratoire de recherche, de tests et de validations de systèmes). Les concepts innovants y sont matérialisés et testés in situ. Sept personnes forment actuellement son personnel d’encadrement. Actuellement en travaux, ces locaux rénovés doivent être livrés en février 2016.

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21 mai 2015 4 21 /05 /mai /2015 18:50
EDA and ESA launch DeSIRE II demonstration project


Brussels - 18 May, 2015 by European Defence Agency


The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) agreed to kick-off on 9 April 2015 a new project in accordance with their demonstration roadmap to support the development of governmental, institutional and commercial services provided by Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) flying in non-segregated airspace.


The DeSIRE II demonstration is expected to run for 18 months with a total budget of €2,6 million. An industrial consortium led by Telespazio, one of the world’s leading company in space applications and end-to-end satellite communications services, will act as prime contractor and system integrator. The main results and recommendations coming out of the project will be disseminated to support European standardisation and regulatory activities, especially for the definition of future satellite-based command & control datalinks.

During DeSIRE II, a Piaggio Aero P.1HH HammerHead will be used as a flying testbed for the development, integration and testing of a set of capabilities designed to allow safe RPAS operation in civilian airspace in support of missions such as environment monitoring, maritime surveillance or crisis management. The joint EDA-ESA project will also aim at characterising Satcom command and control datalinks in different frequency bands through simulation, emulation and flight demonstration campaigns. Meanwhile, DeSIRE II will be also be supported by end users (Italian Coast Guard, Italian Civil Protection Department, Guardia di Finanza, European Fisheries Control Agency, Ceren and Armasuisse) who will consolidate their operational and regulatory requirements to operate RPAS in non-segregated airspace. 

This new project is a follow-on to the first DeSIRE demonstration, an EDA-ESA project led by Spanish company Indra which ran from 2011 to 2013. It culminated with a series of successful test flights demonstrating the ability of a RPAS using a satellite link to safely share the sky with other airspace users. 

Out of the €2,6 million project budget, €1,2 million will be invested by ESA, €600.000 by the EDA on its operational budget and €800.000 by the industrial consortium composed of Telespazio, e-GEOS, Selex ES, Piaggio Aero, ViaSat, Skyguide and Ædel Aerospace GmbH. 


More information


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30 avril 2015 4 30 /04 /avril /2015 11:50
MIDCAS demonstrates progress for RPAS integration into civil airspace


Brussels - 30 April, 2015 by European Defence Agency


The MIDCAS (Mid Air Collision Avoidance System) consortium together with the European Defence Agency (EDA) announce the completion of successful flight-test and simulation campaigns conducted as part of the MIDCAS project. Major milestones included fully automatic avoidance manoeuvres of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) relying on fusion of non-cooperative sensors.


Successful completion of flight tests

Flights with a demonstrator Detect & Avoid (D&A) system integrated in the Sky-Y RPAS test bed have been conducted since December 2014 at Grazzanise Air Force Base, Italy. First fully automatic coupled avoidance manoeuvres were performed by the RPAS based on combined cooperative and non-cooperative detection as well as non-cooperative detection only and put on collision course with a manned aircraft. The MIDCAS system had full authority over the RPAS flight control system. 

The formal flight test permit to perform the automatic manoeuvre was obtained using results from earlier flight tests demonstrating the readiness to safely perform such critical manoeuvres. Flight tests have covered numerous scenarios and sensor combinations bringing RPAS traffic integration a significant step closer to reality. The Detect and Avoid system tested, performs collision avoidance and traffic avoidance using data fusion for various combinations of the included detection technologies, i.e. the cooperative IFF and ADS-B equipment and the non-cooperative electro-optical, infrared and radar sensors.


Important simulations

Several types of simulations (including Monte Carlo simulations and real-time simulations) have been completed which will allow the project teams to demonstrate that the functional design of MIDCAS can be compliant with the safety levels for manned aviation. Simulations in Air Traffic Management (ATM) environment have also been performed to validate the system requirements in an operational context. “We are pleased with the outcome of the simulations where the involved air traffic controllers concluded that they were confident to control RPAS within their airspace and did not get any additional workload from the RPAS, whose behavior was fully in line with manned aviation”, MIDCAS project leader Johan Pellebergs explains.


MIDCAS is the European Detect & Avoid project

The MIDCAS project is laying the groundwork for future developments in the field of RPAS air traffic integration. The project has gathered European industries within the field of D&A with the purpose to achieve jointly agreed results with European and global standardisation stakeholders.The MIDCAS project was launched in 2009 by five contributing Member States (France, Germany, Italy and Spain under the lead of Sweden) under the framework of the European Defence Agency, with a total budget of €50 million. 

The project has produced tangible results in the field of air traffic integration, which is a critical enabler for the use of RPAS in European skies”, Peter Round, EDA Capability, Armament & Technology Director, says. “In order to improve Member States’ RPAS capabilities, technological and regulatory issues need to be taken into account as early as possible”, he adds. 

MIDCAS has been carried out by an industrial consortium composed of 11 partners: Saab (project leader) from Sweden, Sagem and Thales from France, Airbus D&S, Diehl BGT Defence, DLR and ESG from Germany, Alenia Aermacchi, Selex ES, CIRA from Italy and Indra from Spain. Throughout the project, external stakeholders such as EASA, EUROCONTROL, EUROCAE or JARUS, were involved in the process. “The only way to achieve a high level of acceptance and reach a common European agreement on how to resolve the D&A issue is through close cooperation”, Johan Pellebergs concludes.


More information

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
Guide d'utilisation des drones en Europe


12.03.2015 Romandie.com (ats)


L'agence européenne de sécurité aérienne (AESA) a annoncé jeudi travailler sur l'élaboration d'une nouvelle réglementation pour l'utilisation des drones civils. Elle tiendra compte de leur catégorie, de leur usage et donc des risques qu'ils peuvent engendrer.

"Baptisé 'Concept of operation' (concept d'utilisation opérationnelle), cette nouvelle approche prévoit une réglementation graduée afin d'intégrer les engins volants pilotés à distance dans l'espace aérien européen", a indiqué l'AESA dans un communiqué.


Sites sensibles

Trois catégories seront définies, la dernière étant relative aux drones de loisirs. Ces derniers ne feront pas l'objet de réglementation particulière, à l'exception de l'interdiction de survol de certaines zones comme les villes ou les sites sensibles.

"Les législations sont très variables d'un pays à l'autre en Europe. Dans certains cas, elles peuvent être relativement restrictives (licences individuelles, autorisation obligatoire pour certaines utilisations), dans d'autres, elles sont quasiment inexistantes", a expliqué un porte-parole de l'AESA. Il y a donc urgence à harmoniser la législation à mesure que l'usage des drones se popularise.


Utilisateurs entendus

Des propositions concrètes seront présentées à la Commission européenne en décembre pour les drones de loisirs, a ajouté le porte-parole. Il a précisé qu'il n'y avait en revanche pas de calendrier précis pour les autres types de drones, compte tenu des nombreuses parties prenantes à la réflexion.

"Ce concept est le premier résultat tangible de la nouvelle approche au sein de l'AESA qui consiste à écouter en premier lieu les utilisateurs avant d'élaborer les réglementations en fonction des risques encourus", a commenté Patrick Ky, directeur de l'AESA.

En France par exemple, l'usage des drones est d'ores et déjà réglementé depuis 2012. Ils doivent voler à moins de 150 mètres d'altitude pour ne pas faire courir de risque au trafic aérien. Le cadre réglementaire définit en outre quatre scénarios et autorisations éventuelles requises, suivant le poids du drone, le rayon d'action, l'altitude, le vol à vue ou hors vue du pilote, la zone survolée, notamment.

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
SESAR acknowledges shortfall in RPAS integration funding


3 Mar 2015 By Beth Stevenson - FG


Brussels - The European Commission’s future air traffic management initiative has only one-third of the budget required to carry out the full integration of remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) into European airspace, a senior representative has acknowledged.

Speaking at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems conference in Brussels on 3 March, Denis Koehl, senior advisor for military affairs on the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme, explains that it is some €110 million ($123 million) short of the required amount for full unmanned air vehicle integration.

The disclosure comes ahead of a commission-sponsored conference on the future of ATM, due to begin on 5 March in Latvia. This is expected to produce decisions on the commitment that the EU will make towards the integration of UAVs into the SESAR programme.


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16 décembre 2014 2 16 /12 /décembre /2014 12:50
Friedrichshafen mise aussi sur les drones

15 décembre 2014 Aerobuzz.fr

Le développement spectaculaire du marché des drones entraine la multiplication des salons spécialisés un peu partout en Europe. Depuis quelques éditions, le salon Aero de Friedrichshafen, fait une petite place aux exposants de drones civils. Pour la deuxième année consécutive, à l’occasion de l’édition 2015 (15-18 avril 2015), le numéro un européen des salons de l’aviation général organisera des présentations en vol en intérieur. Pour la première fois aussi, des présentations en vol seront organisées en extérieur.

Suite de l’article

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2 décembre 2014 2 02 /12 /décembre /2014 08:50
Swedish Armed Forces to Test CybAero RPAS from Visby Corvette


December 2nd, 2014 defencetalk.com


First North-listed CybAero has been selected by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to conduct test and demonstration flights from Sweden’s world-leading Visby class corvette in Q3, 2015.


Sweden-based CybAero was chosen ahead of other international competitors. It is estimated that the flights, which will employ CybAero’s APID helicopter systems, are to be conducted by the Swedish Armed Forces over Swedish waters in Q3, 2015. The purpose of the flights is to test the strategic and tactical benefits of these systems onboard Swedish Navy vessels.


“We are, of course, very proud to have been selected, and this is a testament to the high level of confidence FMV has placed in us,” says Mikael Hult, CEO of CybAero.


One of the most important applications of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) is within maritime applications, and in recent years, CybAero has worked hard to establish its systems in this segment. CybAero will soon make its first deliveries to China Customs, which is the company’s first end client within maritime applications.


“Now that we have been chosen by FMV to conduct the test and demonstration flights, we have a great opportunity to put our systems on display, and this will serve as a good reference point for potential clients in Sweden and abroad,” says Mikael Hult.


CybAero develops and manufactures Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and associated sensor systems for safer and more cost-effective operations in hazardous environments. The company has made a great international impact with its APID 60 helicopter, which can be adapted to coastal and border surveillance, search and rescue missions, and mapping.


CybAero’s head office is in the Mjärdevi Science Park in Linköping, Sweden. The company has more than 40 employees and has been listed on the NASDAQ OMX First North since 2007. Remium Nordic AB is the company’s certified adviser.

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20 novembre 2014 4 20 /11 /novembre /2014 06:50
Defence Ministers assess EDA progress during the Agency's Steering Board


Brussels - 18 November, 2014 European Defence Agency


The Steering Board of 18 November was chaired for the first time by Federica Mogherini, the new Head of the European Defence Agency. It was an important opportunity for Defence Ministers to assess the progress achieved since December 2013. It was also an ideal forum for the new High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission to discuss cooperation on military capabilities with European ministers and to prepare for the June 2015 European Council.


Progress on the four key programmes


Four projects have been endorsed by the 2013 European Council: Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR), Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), Governmental Satellite Communications (GovSatcom) and Cyber Defence. In line with their respective roadmaps, the progress made in each of these four key capability areas has been welcomed by Defence Ministers during the Steering Board:


  • Air-to-Air Refuelling: under the lead of the Netherlands, work is progressing towards the establishment of a European strategic tanker capability by 2020. A contract for new air-to-air refuelling aircraft is expected to be placed by the end of 2015.

  • RPAS: EDA supports the development of a European Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) RPAS through a number of projects focusing on certification, air traffic insertion, airworthiness and harmonisation of flight crew training. The Agency is facilitating efforts to develop a new MALE RPAS capability for the next decade by supporting Member States willing to join such an initiative. EDA is also backing a “European MALE RPAS community” for systems that are already in service.

  • GovSatcom: the requirements of European military users (Common Staff Target) for the next generation of Governmental Satellite Communications have been formally endorsed by Member States. This paves the way to the preparation phase of a future cooperative programme, to be completed by the end of 2016 under Spanish lead.

  • Cyber Defence: in line with the EU Cyber Security Strategy, EDA is working on specific projects to increase its Member States’ capabilities in this domain. The Agency has already supported the operational headquarters of Operation EUFOR RCA by providing cyber awareness training. Work is underway to develop deployable “Cyber Defence situational awareness kits” by 2015.


Incentives for cooperation

As tasked by the European Council, the Agency has developed proposals to incentivise cooperation, mainly through non-market distorting fiscal measures and pooled procurement. During the Steering Board, Defence ministers welcomed this progress as a basis for further work.

  • Fiscal measures: in March 2014, the Belgian Ministry of Finance granted VAT exemption to EDA’s ad hoc projects and activities. Three projects have already benefitted from that exemption: JDEAL, C-IED Manual Neutralisation Techniques and EU Satcom Market. This VAT exemption gives a real bonus to defence cooperation among Member States.

  • Pooled procurement: Proposals were discussed for the establishment of a pooled procurement mechanism to facilitate cooperative acquisition and support of defence equipment, while improving interoperability. This mechanism, whose creation still requires deeper discussion among Member States, would address priorities defined by them.


Strategic outlook

As requested by the December 2013 European Council, Defence Ministers have adopted a Policy Framework to foster more systematic and long-term defence cooperation. This document aims to provide a coherent basis for defence cooperation in Europe, from priority setting through to in-service support, disposal and decommissioning. It offers tangible support to national defence reviews and provides a platform for greater convergence in defence planning.

Complementing this Policy Framework, the revised Capability Development Plan (CDP) endorsed by Member States earlier this year will be an essential element for the setting of cooperative capability development priorities. It provides a list of priority actions based on lessons learned from European operations, future security scenarios and long-term trends. It addresses the Member States’ priorities for their armed forces and, as such, will form the basis of future European collaborative programmes.


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14 novembre 2014 5 14 /11 /novembre /2014 12:55
Le drone Patroller en courte final sur la piste 14R de l’aéroport Toulouse-Blagnac – photo SAGEM

Le drone Patroller en courte final sur la piste 14R de l’aéroport Toulouse-Blagnac – photo SAGEM


12 novembre 2014 par Gil Roy – Aerobuzz.fr


Dans le cadre du projet européen ODREA (1), pendant une dizaine de jours consécutifs des essais, en vraie grandeur, ont été réalisés dans la région Toulousaine avec un drone Patroller de Sagem pour tester la capacité du système télépiloté à s’insérer dans le trafic d’un aéroport international tel que Toulouse-Blagnac. La fonction « Détecter et éviter » (« Detect and Avoid ») a également été testée à l’aide d’un TB20 de l’ENAC, du côté de Muret.



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[1] Projet ODREA (Operational Demonstration of Remotely piloted aircraft systems in European Airspace) est co-financé par l’entreprise commune SESAR JU (Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking. Il regroupe des partenaires industriels et institutionnels français : Rockwell Collins France, Sagem (Groupe Safran), la DSNA (Direction des Services de la Navigation Aérienne) et l’ENAC (Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile). L’objectif du projet ODREA est de définir des concepts opérationnels pour les RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System), les procédures opérationnelles associées puis de les valider à l’aide de simulations et de vols réels avec l’aéronef télépiloté Patroller de Sagem, embarquant un pilote de sécurité.

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9 octobre 2014 4 09 /10 /octobre /2014 12:20
Unmanned-Aircraft Industry Divided Over New Name for Drones: Reports


MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti)


The unmanned aircraft industry rejects the term "drone" claiming it is technically inaccurate, however companies are divided on a new name for the devices, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

"We need another name for it, but I'm not sure what that new name should be," venture-capital executive Zack Porter was quoted as saying by WSJ.

According to the newspaper, unmanned-aircraft developers believe the term "drone" gives the devices a poor militaristic reputation. Alternative names include UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), UAS (unmanned aircraft system), RPA (remotely piloted aircraft), RPAS (unmanned aircraft system), or simply, robot. One patent attorney, John Mulcahy, has suggested the term "crone" for commercial drones.

Michael Toscano, chief executive for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International said the term drone makes most people think "weaponized, hostile, large and autonomous," and prefers the name UAS since it encompasses the entire system, including "the technology on the ground with the human at the controls," according to The Wall Street Journal.

However, the former general counsel of the unmanned aircraft trade group, Ben Gielow rejected any name using the misleading term "unmanned" and stated, "We have to stop defining the technology by what it's not. They used to call the car a horseless carriage," the newspaper reported.

Some companies have settled on names for their devices, like Wasp, TigerShark, Predator and Reaper, while others have created names based on how many propellers they have. The US military is also divided on the matter with the Navy using UAV, the Coast Guard calling them UAS, and the Air Force calling them RPA. The Federal Aviation Administration and Congress have agreed upon the name of UAS for the devices in legislation and official documents.

There are others in the industry that are not opposed to the word, claiming more people are familiar with the term "drone" than any other name. According to data from Google Trends, searches for "drone" exceed any alternative names and has remained the most popular name for the devices since 2010.

The name "drone" was first coined in 1935 by the British Royal Navy who began using unmanned aircraft as aerial targets for shooting practice following developments in the United States. The United Kingdom named its device the Queen Bee which led to the Navy calling its targets "drones," the term for male bees. Evidence of the media using the term has been traced to 1946 when Popular Science reported on the devices.

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8 octobre 2014 3 08 /10 /octobre /2014 15:50
EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle visits EDA


Brussels - 06 October, 2014 European Defence Agency


On 2 October 2014, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited the European Defence Agency. He exchanged views with EDA Chief Executive Claude-France Arnould on Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) as well as EDA support to the defence industry in Central and Eastern Europe.


Particular attention has been paid to EDA activities in the field of SMEs, such as facilitated access to EU funds and information about cross-border opportunities. In this respect, Commissioner Füle appreciated the important share of EDA in consolidation of Central and Eastern Europe, namely with regard to the integration into the European Defence and Security System, including the full opening of the Single Market potential to the Central and Eastern European defence industry. As a good example, Commissioner Füle particularly welcomed EDA participation in the International Fair of Defence and Security Technology (IDET) in May 2015 as an important contribution to the dialogue with Central and Eastern Europe.


Speaking about the future, Commissioner Füle and Claude-France Arnould both emphasized the need to maintain a close dialogue between EDA and the new European Commission as well as the importance for EDA to play its part in the future EU external policy.

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11 septembre 2014 4 11 /09 /septembre /2014 16:45
CAA on track to introduce UAV regulations by March 2015


09 September 2014 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb


The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) says it is on track with the finalisation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) regulations, which are set to be put in place by March next year, and has denied that it is struggling to formulate these new rules.


Until regulations have been put in place governing the use of UAVs, anyone operating a UAV could face a R50 000 fine or up to ten years in prison, or both, according to the SACAA. In April this year the Authority said it was set to clamp down on the illegal flying, in civil airspace, of unmanned aircraft, with heavy fines for those who break the law.


UAVs operating on private land or restricted airspace also do not comply with SACAA requirements and are therefore also illegal to operate.


However, people flying UAVs in South Africa cannot be fined by the SACAA because although flying UAVs is illegal, there are no laws in place to be broken, according to Hennie Kieser, director and chairman of the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of South Africa (CUAASA).


“It should be noted that the SACAA has not granted any approval to any entity or individual, due to the significant and real safety and security risks presented by this new sector of aviation. As such, whilst it is a fact that currently there are no specific regulations which govern RPAS [Remotely Piloted Aerial System] authorisations; regulation 91.01.10 of the Civil Aviation Regulations, 2011, prohibits any person through an act or omission to endanger the safety of an aircraft, any person or property. The SACAA is obligated to take enforcement action against any one disregarding the said part of the regulations,” the SACAA said.


“Notwithstanding, the SACAA has made considerable progress in terms of drafting regulations for UAS [Unmanned Aerial Systems] and as such is on track for the 2015 promulgations.”


UAVs can be flown indoors, however, as “the indoor operations of UAS are outside the mandate of SACAA since ‘indoors’ is not classified as airspace”.


Radio controlled/model aircraft are a different matter: “If the aircraft is solely used for sport or recreational purposes, the Director of Civil Aviation (DCA) has designated an external organisation to oversee this activities [sic]. The designated organisation is the Recreation Aviation Administration South Africa (RAASA),” the SACAA said.


“Unmanned aircraft systems are relatively a new component of the civil aviation framework, one which the SACAA, together with other regulators worldwide and under the guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, are working to understand, define and ultimately integrate in to the civil aviation sector. As such, the process of developing policies, procedures, regulations and associated standards in order to certify and subsequently authorise operation of UAS is currently in progress,” said the Director of Civil Aviation, Poppy Khoza.


As part of this process, last month the SACAA hosted a meeting on the use of UAVs, which was attended by several hundred people. Kieser said the SACAA was struggling to come up with adequate regulations and had proposed unfeasible possibilities like requiring UAV operators to have commercial pilot licenses.


However, Phindiwe Gwebu, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Marketing at the SACAA, denied that the SACAA was struggling to formulate regulations.


“No-one has the perfect answer yet. People have some answers,” Kieser said, pointing out that countries around the world are having trouble establishing UAV regulations, with most countries taking different approaches, such as France giving flight permission on a case-by-case basis.


Regulations in the United States have been controversial due to the problem of classifying UAVs and model aircraft. Kieser said it was necessary to categorise UAVs, perhaps by kinetic energy rather than size and weight, as there are hundreds of different types of UAVs from small helicopters that fit into the palm of one’s hand to UAVs with wingspans as large as jet airliners, such as the Global Hawk.


“UAVs are a disruptive technology,” like the Internet and cellphones, Kieser said, especially as UAVs are becoming easier to fly – many can be flown from a smartphone. As a result they are here to stay and will only grow in popularity. For instance Kieser, also the director of surveillance company Desert Wolf, estimates demand for his Skunk multi-purpose UAV to be thousands of units a month.


Kieser pointed out that there are many people still flying UAVs in South Africa, such as those in the mining and farming industries that need to carry out tasks like stockpile monitoring and stock counting. He said the SACAA can’t prosecute such users because they have no manpower and it is not clear what users would be charged with.


CUAASA was formally started on January 1 and has seventy signed and paid up members. However, Kieser said there are between four and five hundred UAV operators in South Africa but most of them did not want to join CUAASA out of fear of repercussions from the SACAA.

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8 juillet 2014 2 08 /07 /juillet /2014 20:50
crédits ONERA

crédits ONERA


02.07.2014 defnat.fr


Tribune par Patrice Mariotte, Président du directoire de la société TELERAD, PME technologique française (systèmes radio utilisés dans le contrôle de la navigation aérienne), et Bruno Grossières, en charge du développement commercial du secteur Défense de TELERAD.


L’apparition du premier aéronef sans pilote remonte probablement aux années 1930 avec le DH82 Queen Bee Tiger Moth, avion-cible utilisé par la Royal Navy pour ses exercices de tir anti-aérien. Depuis, les évolutions technologiques ont transformé les drones en outils incontournables pour les coeurs de systèmes stratégiques militaires et civils.


Si l’appellation « drone » (bourdon) semble trouver son origine par l’analogie avec le Queen Bee (reine des abeilles) les aéronefs sans pilote sont également connus sous l’acronyme UAV (Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle ou véhicule aérien inhabité). Les termes UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) aux États-Unis ou RPAS (Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems) en Europe sont plus particulièrement utilisés pour désigner des systèmes complets (l’aéronef lui-même, associé aux moyens périphériques destinés à le mettre en oeuvre).


La population de drones ne répond pas à des normes spécifiques comme le fait l’aviation traditionnelle. Extrêmement hétérogènes (taille, masse, propulsion, technologie), ces systèmes UAS ou RPAS proposent un impressionnant catalogue de possibilités (surveillance, transport, détection, protection d’infrastructures, recherche, etc.). Cependant, leur utilisation est fortement limitée par l’obligation d’évoluer exclusivement en espace aérien approprié, c’est-à-dire « ségrégué » (en zones réservées, restreintes et temporaires).


Le succès économique de ce nouveau type d’aéronef dépend donc tout particulièrement de sa future intégration sans restriction dans la circulation aérienne générale, dans un espace non « ségrégué ». Ce qui, à l’heure du « Ciel unique européen », représente un véritable défi. Cette intégration ne pourra être réalisée qu’au moyen de la mise en place de règles de sécurité adaptées, ainsi que grâce au développement de technologies adéquates.


En Europe, la SESAR JU (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Joint Undertaking) dont l’objectif est de développer un système européen de gestion du trafic aérien et des standards techniques, a publié en juin 2013 une feuille de route visant l’intégration des RPAS civils dans l’espace aérien libre. Dans le domaine militaire, une feuille de route des systèmes RPAS a également été approuvée en novembre 2013. Par ailleurs, l’Agence européenne de Défense (AED) a établi un cadre programmatique pour développer les technologies nécessaires aux drones militaires, le « Joint Investment Programme on RPAS ».


La problématique n’est pas seulement européenne : l’intégration des UAS dans le « National Airspace System » (NAS) est également au coeur de l’actualité aéronautique des États-Unis. Ainsi, une feuille de route a été publiée par la FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) en novembre 2013. Via la PBFA (Policy Board on Federal Aviation) et l’Excom (UAS executive comitee), le Département de la Défense (DOD) travaille en étroite collaboration avec la FAA sur l’accès des drones militaires aux espaces aériens non-ségrégués.


Les RPAS civils et le ciel unique européen


Le « Ciel unique européen » constitue l’un des projets les plus ambitieux de recherche-développement jamais lancé par la Commission européenne. Le programme SESAR en est le pilier technologique et opérationnel.


L’intégration des drones n’était pas explicitement prévue dans les phases initiales de ce programme mais face à une demande croissante de ces nouveaux usagers de l’espace aérien, le Groupe de pilotage européen des drones aériens (The European Remotely Piloted Air Systems Steering Group ERSG) a été mis en place par la Commission européenne en 2012. Ce groupe de pilotage est à l’origine d’une feuille de route, publiée à l’occasion du Salon aéronautique du Bourget en 2013, et ayant pour objectif une intégration initiale dans le système aérien à partir de 2016.


Cette feuille de route considère les systèmes drones RPAS civils, quelle que soit leur taille, comme des aéronefs. Cependant, le spectre des applications pour lesquelles les systèmes drones peuvent être utilisés étant plus large que celui de l’aviation commerciale traditionnelle, il est donc nécessaire, pour une intégration en toute sécurité dans les espaces aériens non-ségrégués de mener parallèlement plusieurs niveaux de réflexion. Ainsi, trois volets de travaux ont été identifiés : le volet développement de la réglementation sous la responsabilité de l’EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), le volet R&D pour l’intégration à l’espace aérien confié à SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) et le volet traitant des aspects légaux sociétaux géré par la Commission européenne.


L’intégration dans l’espace aérien non-ségrégué sera progressive et établie en fonction des profils de vols typiques à chaque catégorie d’exploitation.


Au-dessous de 150 mètres d’altitude


Tout d’abord seront établies les conditions d’utilisation des drones à très bas niveau de vol, en dessous de 150 mètres d’altitude. On parle alors de Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) pour une utilisation de drone avec un rayon d’action inférieur à 500 mètres. Au-delà de 500 mètres, apparaissent les notions de RPAS avec l’Extended VLOS (E-VLOS) nécessitant des moyens de contact entre des observateurs et le pilote du drone, ou le Beyond VLOS (B-VLOS) pour les vols nécessitant un soutien technologique additionnel.


Au-dessus de 150 mètres d’altitude


L’exploitation des drones sera réalisée en espace non ségrégué et donc partagés avec les autres aéronefs. Dans ce cas on distinguera les RPAS « radio lineof- sight », dont la capacité clé sera le « detect and avoid », et les RPAS « Beyond radio line-of-sight » utilisant un lien de communication par satellite pour la commande et le contrôle. Dans tous les cas, le système RPAS doit être capable d’opérer dans un espace aérien mixte, à l’identique des avions pilotés, que ce soit en IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) ou en VFR (Visual Flight Rules). Il ne doit pas avoir un impact sur les autres utilisateurs de l’espace aérien et doit être en conformité vis-à-vis de la réglementation CNS (Communication Navigation Surveillance) selon la classe de l’espace aérien dans lequel il évolue.


Afin de prendre en compte la complexité de cette intégration qui nécessite l’émergence de nouvelles technologies et l’étude de nouvelles normes, la feuille de route propose trois sous-niveaux d’intégration pour chaque catégorie : l’exploitation initiale, l’intégration elle-même, puis l’évolution. Suite à ce processus, l’intégration finale des systèmes RPAS au-dessus de 150 mètres en espace aérien non ségrégué se dessine respectivement aux horizons 2023 et 2028 pour les vols IFR et VFR.


Dans le contexte de cette intégration des systèmes RPAS en espace multiavions, neufs projets mettant en oeuvre des drones de différents types et de différentes tailles ont été sélectionnés par SESAR JU. Ces projets ont pour objectifs d’explorer la faisabilité de l’intégration au sein d’une communauté d’aviation élargie en 2016 et de se focaliser sur des résultats concrets permettant de combler les écarts opérationnels et techniques. Ils doivent également permettre d’identifier les synergies ainsi que les risques et possibilités offertes vis-à-vis du programme SESAR.


Par ailleurs la SESAR JU a annoncé la publication d’un appel d’offre portant sur la phase de définition de l’insertion des RPAS civils dans le système d’aviation européen dans le contexte de l’initiative du ciel unique européen. L’objectif de cet appel d’offre est de détailler un programme R&D, qui sera intégré au calendrier des activités de validation nécessaires dans le cadre du programme SESAR 2020.


Les RPAS militaires et le Ciel unique européen


L’intégration des drones militaires (Male/Hale – moyenne/haute altitude, longue endurance) dans le ciel unique européen pose deux problématiques principales. La première est liée à la spécificité des missions militaires et à la construction d’un « Ciel militaire européen » permettant à des drones militaires de franchir les frontières. La seconde est l’intégration des drones militaires dans les espaces nonségrégués du Ciel unique européen.


Au niveau de la France, la solution actuelle repose sur la gestion de tronçons d’espaces aériens ségrégués qui sont dynamiquement ouverts puis fermés après le passage du drone, en coordination avec le contrôle aérien civil. C’est le concept de « smart segregation » créé par la Direction de la sécurité aéronautique de l’État (DSAE) pour l’utilisation des drones Male.


Au niveau européen, l’AED est l’un des principaux acteurs de l’insertion des drones dans le ciel européen. C’est l’interlocuteur privilégié de la SESAR JU en termes de coopération civilo-militaire et permet d’assurer l’implication de l’ensemble de la communauté militaire. Elle apporte son expertise et organise la collecte des résultats nécessaires dans des domaines spécifiques. La problématique d’insertion des drones est traitée dans le projet « EDA RPAS Pioneer Project » qui se décline en quatre piliers :

• Insertion dans le trafic aérien.

• Certification des RPAS.

• Le programme des drones Male européens futurs.

• La coopération militaire européenne.


Lors du Comité directeur de l’AED du 19 novembre 2013, les ministres de la Défense ont approuvé une feuille de route sur les systèmes RPAS qui vise à poser les bases d'une solution européenne à l’horizon 2020-2025.


En conclusion, véritable défi dans le cadre de la construction du Ciel unique européen, le succès de l'insertion des drones dans la circulation aérienne sera, à terme, un levier de croissance déterminant pour le développement des industries associées à leur production et à leur exploitation.


Éléments de bibliographie et liens Internet


« Interview du directeur exécutif de la SESAR Joint Undertaking » in La lettre TELERAD Défense, décembre 2013.

Feuille de route européenne « European RPAS Roadmap »

Feuille de route de l’AED

Rôle d’Eurocontrol dans l’intégration des RPAS.

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25 juin 2014 3 25 /06 /juin /2014 07:50
EDA presents its roadmap on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems at international conference


Brussels - 24 June, 2014 European Defence Agency


The 16th UVS Annual Conference is organized within the framework of the European Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) roadmap.


They have proven essential in modern-day operations around the world : Remotely Piloted Air Systems, or RPAS, are now a key priority for the European Defence Agency whose teams are working on several ways to improve Member States’ capabilities in that domain.

Speaking today during the 16th UVS (Unmanned Vehicle Systems) Annual Conference held 23-26 June at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels, and which drew over 200 participants from 30 countries, Jean-Youri Marty, RPAS program manager at EDA, stressed that this domain was recognized a major priority by Heads of States and Government at the last European Council in December 2013. “We know we have the skills and industries in Europe not only to do this but also to become a first class player in the field”, he added.


Five pillars

EDA’s work on RPAS in channeled into five main workstrands. The first one focuses on the preparation of a future European Male RPAS programme, based on a Common Staff Target endorsed by Member States in November 2013. Outputs of this ongoing preparation phase are now expected around 2016.

Another area aims at optimizing the operational use of Male (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) RPAS currently in service in Europe. Seven EDA Member States have already decided to set up a dedicated Male RPAS community.

EDA also helps its Member States harmonizing airworthiness certification processes, in collaboration with the European Aviation Safety Agency. In the meantime, the Agency conducts several studies on the critical issue of military RPAS integration insertion in the general air traffic, again in close cooperation with the EASA but also with the European Commission, the Sesar Joint Undertaking and Eurocontrol. Finally, EDA supports its Members states in developing new technological solutions to prepare future RPAS.


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27 mai 2014 2 27 /05 /mai /2014 16:50
Peter Round: European Council prioritises EDA capability development initiatives


Brussels - 15 May, 2014 European Defence Agency


The European Council meeting in December 2013 provided a clear set of tasks for the EDA, with four areas of capability development identified as being particularly urgent. Peter Round, the EDA’s Capability Director, explains what this means for the Agency.

Air-to-air refuelling (AAR), remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), governmental satellite communications and cyber defence are the key issues which the European Council has identified as areas in which the EDA should work to fill in immediate capability gaps.

“Although these four tasks certainly occupy pole position in the Directorate’s thinking, they are not our only concerns. We need to examine these priorities in the context of our work as a whole. However, each of these four areas is on the priority list for a reason and they are worth examining in some detail,” said Round.


There can be no doubt there is a fundamental shortfall in European AAR capability. In operations over Libya, over 80% of all AAR missions were flown by US aircraft. One of the first challenges to be overcome, according to Round, is that the requirement for AAR is very different in peacetime to that in time of crisis – and that leads to all sorts of priority setting issues. “The obvious issue is that more capacity is required, but the background is complex and varies from nation to nation, so some strategic thinking has been necessary,” he said.

The first issue, therefore, has been to determine the best method of exploiting the existing fleet and satisfying short term demand. One solution has been to improve the efficiency of allocating various national assets and – in a move that mirrors some of the initiatives undertaken for the European Air Transport Command (EATC) – to improve and accelerate the process for gaining diplomatic clearance for AAR missions over foreign territories.

A parallel and potentially difficult issue to resolve is the two types of AAR technologies available – “booms” and “reels/hoses and drogues”.  Not all aircraft can accept fuel from both systems. The Royal Air Force, for example, currently has no indigenous refuelling capacity for the Rivet Joint signals intelligence platforms it is currently bringing into service and must depend on other nations assets if AAR is required.

Increased efficiency also comes from assuring adequate (and regular) training and the EDA is organising a number of what Round describes as “practical flying events,” the most recent of which took place at Decimomannu in Sardinia in late 2013. The next such event will focus on the use of Italian Boeing B767 tankers later this year.

Apart from improving the efficiency of current assets, the EDA is also working on initiatives including one looking at exploiting excess national capacity (with the UK’s Voyager fleet being a prime example.  A key piece of work is support to a Dutch and Norwegian led initiative to acquire a fleet of Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft which will make a significant contribution to European Capability through Pooling and Sharing, this aircraft will not only be a tanker but a very significant air transport asset as well.


The issues in the further evolution of RPAS are no less complex, but are significantly different. With the overwhelming majority of current requirements coming from the military – most of which, as Round said, have a provenance in the world of Urgent Operational Requirements – there is a tendency to forget that RPAS are most effective in an environment in which air supremacy is assured. Extending the RPAS capability from the military to the civil environment – in which the size of the market will be infinitely larger in the not-too-distant future – requires that attention be paid to a host of issues surrounding safety and public perception. “We absolutely have got to make RPAS acceptable ,” said Round.

The issue is one of the Agency’s Pioneer Projects, and aims at harnessing synergies in both military and civil domains, maximising dual-use technologies and overcoming the limitations of greater RPAS-use imposed by the lack of a harmonised framework allowing them to operate in civil airspace. Some of the problems associated with overcoming these limitations centre on the regulatory and certification domains.

In an important milestone, the MIDCAS (Midair Collision Avoidance System) project showed the capability of RPAS to operate safely beyond line of sight in a flight test in April 2013. “MIDCAS showed we are progressing towards ‘sense and avoid ;’ we have flown the airplane – it’s not pie in the sky,” said Round. He said “it has taken a long time – and great expense – to get to this stage but we have now reached the stepping-off point for the next generation: we’ve done it once, now we need to stop talking, and deliver a usable capability.” he said.

The DeSIRE programme (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the insertion of RPAS in Europe) has been a joint EDA/European Space Agency (ESA) initiative since 2010 and in spring 2013 achieved a significant progress during flight tests in Spain. Building on the capabilities the programme demonstrated, a joint investment programme, which was launched in 2012, will focus attention on solving the individual components of the issue – including sense and avoid, air traffic management interfaces and decision architecture - from this year. “There is cooperation in a host of disciplines – technological, training and maintenance among them” , said Round.

Most importantly we now have a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) community of users established through which we will continue work to move from our current Common Staff Requirement towards a Common Staff Target to define the next generation of RPAS for Europe.  “This is a very exciting development and clearly demonstrates the support within Europe for this type of Capability” said Round. 


A similar approach is being applied to the EDA’s work in the cyber domain, where the Agency provides “the defence element of a cross-Brussels cyber effort,” said Round. It is a domain that is sensitive, relatively new and not yet fully understood, though there have been no end of discussions trying to scope and size the credibility of the threat and therefore the appropriate nature of the response. “There is a lot of knowledge already in place, so the questions becomes where can we add value,” said Round.

The issue in cyber seems to revolve more around people than technology. Some observers estimate there is a requirement for fully trained cyber specialists is a hundred times the number in existence. This may seem like a scaremongering statistic  – but it is difficult to refute given current knowledge available in the public domain. As a result of the recognition of this and the picture revealed by the Agency stocktaking study, an unclassified version of which was presented in May last year, it is readily apparent that while there are strengths across Europe in leadership, personnel and interoperability work has to be done on doctrine, organisation and training.

So the EDA has conducted  a detailed Training Needs Analysis and currently works on building a comprehensive cyber defence curriculum. It is working closely with the US-led Multinational Capability Development Campaign to develop cyber defence operational planning and deploy situational awareness toolkits at headquarters level, thereby integrating consideration of cyber tasks into daily routines in missions and operations. It is working to promote its recently established Cyber Defence Research Agenda, the end result of which will be an R&T roadmap stretching out for the next ten years. It has already launched a project addressing the requirements for timely detection of advanced persistent threats – an area in which industrial espionage is as great a threat as military security. It has begun consultations under the umbrella of European Framework Cooperation to determine how to exploit the wealth of academic expertise in cryptology and information protection, turning it into practical solutions for timely implementation.

“We have done a lot of work in quite a short period and are confident we are heading towards early implementation of some effective solutions for Member States’ requirements in this critical domain,” said Round.


In terms of satellite communications (satcom) Round said this is “the ultimate Pooling & Sharing example.” The requirements for governmental satcom are very different in peacetime than in a period of crisis which, coupled with the high levels of capital expenditure involved in launching and maintaining satellites, means the incidence of capability is limited to a few nations – and even in those cases, despite the fact that satellites are ‘living longer,’ these capabilities will require replacement in the medium term future.

“Space is not a military domain – the requirements for exploitation of this type of capability stretch right across government. There is a real opportunity here to share capability,” said Round. The establishment of the European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell has enabled Member States with or without such capability to supplement or procure capability on an ad hoc basis. The French military, for example, bought capability through the European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell (ESCPC) to support their operations in Mali at extremely short notice.



While these four work strands dominate EDA capability development activity at the moment, they are not the be all and end all of this genre of effort. “One of the effects of recession is the need to work together – not the aspiration, the need. The longer Member States are involved in working together, the greater the level of trust that develops and therefore the clearer and swifter the path to success. Which leads to the likelihood of continued cooperation,” said Round. “We have significant experience of collaborative projects – and we have real, concrete, demonstrable success stories.”


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16 avril 2014 3 16 /04 /avril /2014 09:50
EDA Steering Board: Progress on the Implementation of Council Conclusions


Luxembourg - 15 April, 2014 European Defency Agency


At the EDA Steering Board of 15 April, the Agency updated Defence Ministers on the progress made in implementing the tasks set at December’s European Council. The main elements of the Agency’s report were on the four capability programmes, standardisation and certification, dual-use research, and the initial elements for a policy framework for long-term cooperation.

Claude-France Arnould Chief Executive of the European Defency Agency commented :

“this Steering Board has come only some four months after the European Council on Defence in December, which set a wide range of tasks for EDA. This meeting was an intermediate step, providing us with the first opportunity to update Defence Ministers collectively on the progress made before the first deliverables are due to be presented in June 2014. It also gave us the opportunity to get their views on the initial proposals for the policy framework for long term cooperation.”


The Four Key Capability Programmes

The European Council in December gave EDA responsibility for four key capability programmes.


Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR)

In AAR the EDA has taken a global approach, focusing on improving the refuelling capabilities in Europe in the short, medium, and long-term. Regarding the optimisation and pooling of existing assets, the first collective AAR clearance trial was successfully completed in Italy in September 2013 with a second one scheduled for September this year. The first multinational European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training (EART) was completed in Eindhoven in April 2014. Regarding longer term capabilities, work has progressed on the pooling of national requirements for new multi-role aircraft. A Request for Information was sent to industry in February on behalf of five participating countries -BE, ES, NL, PL and NO. A decision on the best-value option will be made by the end of 2014.


Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

Work continues to support the development of RPAS capabilities in Europe and exploit possible civil-military synergies. EDA is developing the requirements and business cases for a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) capability. During the Steering Board, France confirmed that it would take the lead within this work strand. This is being supported by the EDA’s other activities on air traffic insertion, airworthiness, and operational support.


Governmental Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM)

The Common Staff Target is being prepared for submission to the Steering Board in autumn 2014, with a view to proposing a comprehensive programme by early 2016. During the Steering Board, Spain offered to take the lead on GOVSATCOM.


Cyber Defence

Activities are continuing in the area of Cyber Defence, including education, training, and technologies. Ad hoc projects are also under way for Cyber Ranges and deployable Cyber Defence kits for headquarters.



The European Council tasked the EDA to further stimulate dual-use research. At the Steering Board, an initial roadmap with actions to stimulate synergies between civil and military research was presented. EDA is conducting this work in close cooperation with the European Commission in support of Member States.


Standardisation and Certification

EDA is active in the field of military airworthiness with an initial set of European Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) already published. Building on this experience, EDA is exploring the potential benefits of a harmonised approach to certification in other areas with Member States and the Commission. Work is on track for developing a roadmap for future hybrid and defence standards by mid-2014 in cooperation with the Commission.


Long term cooperation

The European Council Conclusions asked for a policy framework on long-term cooperation by the end of 2014. The objectives are to provide a coherent basis for defence cooperation in Europe, with appropriate mechanisms to support policy-review. Defence Ministers discussed the initial elements of this framework at the Steering Board.


More Information

​Watch the Video of the Steering Board Press Conference 

European Council Conclusions

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15 avril 2014 2 15 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
Normes strictes pour l'utilisation des drones civils


source Fondation Robert Schuman


La Commission européenne a proposé le 8 avril 2014 de fixer de nouvelles normes strictes pour réglementer les activités des drones (systèmes d'aéronef télépiloté, RPAS) à usage civil. Les nouvelles normes porteront sur la sécurité, la sûreté, le respect de la vie privée, la protection des données, l'assurance et la responsabilité. L'objectif est de permettre à l'industrie européenne de devenir l'un des leaders mondiaux du marché pour cette technologie émergente, tout en assurant la mise en place de toutes les garanties nécessaires...


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25 mars 2014 2 25 /03 /mars /2014 17:50
Remotely piloted aircraft report

An RAF Reaper remotely piloted air system over Afghanistan (library image) [Picture: Petty Officer Airman (Photographer) Tam McDonald, UK MoD]


25 March 2014 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support


A Defence Select Committee report published today says remotely piloted aircraft are an important military capability for the future.


The rapid development of remotely piloted air systems by the UK armed forces over the past decade has contributed greatly to the effectiveness of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, says the report.

And that the provision of enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance that these air systems provide to troops on the ground has undoubtedly saved lives and prevented casualties.

The report also sets out that the ‘increasingly contentious debate’ in the UK in recent years surrounding remotely piloted air systems, commonly called ‘drones’, was mainly due to a lack of information or misunderstanding about their use.


Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois said:

With so much argument surrounding the UK’s use of remotely piloted air systems, it is very welcome to see the independent [House of] Commons Defence Committee recognise publicly their value and effectiveness, and that operations comply fully with international law.

I am particularly pleased to note the committee’s recognition of the highly skilled personnel who operate this equipment, supporting and protecting our ground troops, our allies and Afghan civilians on a daily basis.

I hope this very positive report helps to dispel some of the frustrating myths often propagated, and reassure people that remotely piloted air systems bring life-saving benefit to our armed forces, and to those we are working to protect, every day.

A pilot from 13 Squadron remotely controls a Reaper aircraft
A pilot from 13 Squadron remotely controls a Reaper aircraft from RAF Waddington (library image) [Picture: Crown copyright]

The committee visited the personnel of 13 Squadron, based at RAF Waddington, responsible for operating the RAF’s Reaper aircraft. They found that personnel were keen for the public to understand better what it is they do and to dispel myths that have grown up about Reaper operations in particular.

Chairman of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, James Arbuthnot, said:

It is very clear that UK aircrews are experienced professional personnel with a clear purpose and keen understanding of the rules of engagement which govern their operations.

These are no video-gaming ‘warrior geeks’ as some would portray them. Despite being remote from the battlespace they exhibit a strong sense of connection to the life and death decisions they are sometimes required to take.

The committee was satisfied that a robust system is in place to review every time one of the UK’s remotely piloted aircraft discharges their weapons. However, the report recognised the desire of some organisations and the public to see a further of disclosure of information from the Ministry of Defence.

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25 mars 2014 2 25 /03 /mars /2014 08:35
T-Hawk Remotely Piloted Air System in Afghanistan

A soldier watches as a Tarantula Hawk (T-Hawk) Micro Remote Piloted Air System (RPAS) hovers over the desert in Afghanistan.


Photographer: Captain Dave Scammell


The Tarantula-Hawk takes off vertically and hovers to get a clear view of the ground ahead of troops.

It is used by the British Army in Afghanistan, clearing routes without risking human life and checking for roadside bombs.

Talisman is the army unit using T-Hawk. It is a counter-IED task force and uses specialist equipment, including this drone, to clear routes for large convoys.

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