Paris Air Show

New UCAV In A Bubble

 - June 16, 2013, 6:35 PM
The bubble-wrapped public “showing” of the Neuron unmanned combat aerial vehicle on the Dassault static display ensures the stealthy aircraft lives up to its name. (Photo: Mark Wagner)

The pan-European Neuron UCAV is making its public debut, outside Hall 2 here as part of the Dassault Aviation static display. But you could easily miss it. For security reasons, the stealthy, arrow-shaped drone has been enclosed in a dome, with the only public view being through a clear plastic curtain. Dassault is lead contractor, and France the lead country, for the six-nation technology demonstration project. The other participants are Greece (HAI); Italy (Alenia); Spain (EADS-CASA); Sweden (Saab); and Switzerland (Ruag).

The Neuron made its first flight at Istres in southern France on December 1, 2012. It made a second flight from there before being dismantled and moved to the French DGA’s test facility near Rennes for ground measurements of its radar cross-section. These have produced encouraging results, according to a source at Dassault. After the show, more ground and flight tests will follow, in France, Italy and Sweden.