Neuron, the European Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle demonstrator, has completed its first flight in French Istres achieving a major milestone in the Neuron programme, where defence and security company Saab has played a critical role in the design, development and production .
Now more flight testing will follow. The Neuron is expected to fly in Sweden in 2014.
“This first flight demonstrates Saab’s ability to develop and produce advanced aeronautics products. The Neuron programme has resulted in experiences that will further enhance Saab’s competiveness with regard to high-tech and cost efficient design and production methods. The knowledge gained is being used in the development of the next-generation Gripen, our civil production and future activities within Unmanned Aerial Systems,” says Mats Palmberg Vice President and Head of Marketing and Future Products, at Saab’s business area Aeronautics.
Within the programme Saab has been responsible for avionics, fuel systems, critical parts of the ground station, as well as the design and production of the main fuselage. The fuselage was delivered to Dassault Aviation in France in 2011. Saab has also been involved in flight testing, aerodynamics and stealth technology.
Neuron is the first large size stealth platform designed in Europe. It is a demonstrator optimised and intended for the testing of various key technologies and will not enter serial production. The aim of the demonstrator programme is to develop expertise among participating nations and industries in advanced aeronautics. Furthermore, the participation in the Neuron programme has strengthened Saab’s ability to manage and take part in large collaborative projects with industries and authorities spanning several nations. A particularly valuable experience considering the defence industry’s shift towards a growing share of development work being done collaboratively.