MALE Drones: Europe’s Options?

Author (Person) ,
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Publication Date May 2010
ISBN 978-2-86592-762-3
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European countries, lead by France, are expected to take a decision soon on the development and acquisition of MALE drones.

Their choices will be crucial not anly for the preservation of European operational sovereignty in military terms but also to guarantee the future of the European aerospace industry.

The different options explored are based either on a policy of short-term purchases, or on national programs leading to strategic dead-ends, or on cooperation programmes. This latter option, favouring the convergence of the needs of European countries, would allow for an optimisation of financial resources.

A commitment to an ambitious European industrial policy on MALE drones represents a considerable investmen. Howerver, if handled in an efficient way by all European partners, this policy will be more fruitful in the medium to long-term than a scattering of efforts on national programs or on off-the-shelf purchases.

The launch of the European space program in the 1970s was based on the realisation of the need for a common approach by top political decision-makers. The context for drones today is similar, but are European politicians up to the challenges ?

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