The MALE UAV being proposed for development to the governments of France, Italy and Germany by Dassault, Alenia Aermacchi and Airbus (Tom Kington / Staff)
PARIS — Exhibitors at France’s Eurosatory show gave a first glimpse on Sunday of a new armored vehicle designed by General Dynamics and a new Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV being pitched to European governments by Dassault Aviation, Airbus and Alenia Aermacchi.
Although the show does not open until Monday, the exhibits were unveiled on Sunday as firms prepared their stands, and gave a preview of a large number of technology debuts expected at the show.
The show, Europe’s largest defense and security show this year, opens Monday and runs through to June 20.
General Dynamics European Land Systems has brought its Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) Demonstrator, which takes center stage in its displayed line-up.
The machine has not been seen in Europe.
Read more about the effort to create a MALE UAV here .
The European land systems arm of General Dynamic's is also set to reveal its latest Piranha 3 version this week, known as the Piranha 3+.
Although Eurosatory is a land systems and security show, Dassault took the opportunity to unveil a model of the MALE UAV, which the French company and its partners are urging the governments of France, Italy and Germany to fund a two-year definition study.
Industry sees the UAV project as keeping valuable aerospace technology and work on the continent as European governments increasingly turn to the General Atomics Reaper UAV. The companies outlined their proposal at last month’s Berlin Air Show.
The companies outlined their proposal at last month’s Berlin Air Show gave no indication what the machine might look like.
The model features an electro-optical ball under the nose, a large radar under the fuselage and five small antennae under the fuselage, behind the wings, that may be for signals intelligence or other functions. Sensor pods are also positioned at the wing tips. Two tails form a v-shape, while the landing gear is retractable.
The model has no air intake, suggesting it is propeller driven, although no propeller is featured. An industry source said the choice between jet and propeller propulsion isn’t final.
“This is just one of the proposed configurations, it is not definite” he said.
Also featured on the stand is a model of a Falcon maritime reconnaissance aircraft featuring missiles under the wings and a radar under the fuselage.
The Spear system from Israel’s Elbit Systems — a 120mm autonomous ‘soft recoil’ mortar for mounting on light wheeled platforms — also made a show debut.
Japanese firms are making their first appearance at the show, following a switch in government policy to allow arms exports. Products promoted include Toshiba radar technology, while Kawasaki Heavy Industries is offering motorbikes, off road vehicles, and small aerial targets, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is promoting armored vehicles.
Pierre Tran contributed to this article.