General Ingo Gerhartz, Chief of Staff of the Luftwaffe, declared that it was necessary for Germany to develop a combat drone capable of supporting the Eurofighter Typhoon , well before the deadlines targeted today. today by the FCAS program. A program which is reminiscent of the combat drone derived from the Neuron, which will accompany the French Rafale F5 from 2030.
During the parliamentary debates around the 2024-2030 Military Programming Law, in spring 2023, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces indicated that it intended to finance, within the framework of the F5 version of the Rafale , the development of a combat drone , which would, for the occasion, be derived from Dassault Aviation's Neuron demonstrator.
For the ministry, it is a question of providing the French air forces with an efficient tool to challenge the access denial systems which are multiplying, and to overcome the insufficient stealth of the Rafale in this area, while considerably extending operational capabilities and performance.
The Neuron combat drone which will accompany the Rafale F5 in 2030
The leap in capacity that the French fighter will achieve, which today is enjoying significant success on the international scene, allows us to consider this future F5 evolution as a real reboot of the aircraft, placing it largely at the level of the most advanced aircraft in the world. moment, in terms of operational performance.
Other programs in the field of drones were launched concurrently at Neuron, as part of the LPM 2024-2030, such as the Colibri and Larinae lurking munitions , or MBDA's Remote Carrier Expendable light airborne combat drones
In fact, the operational performances of the Rafale F5, and its drone technosystem, will make it a first system of systems for the French air forces, but also for export customers of the national defense aeronautical industry.
However, faced with such future progression, we could question the need to develop the SCAF program , or at least the scope currently announced concerning the drone pillar.
The fact is, the capabilities that the NGF will be equipped with through the FCAS will be much greater than those available to the Rafale , supported by the Neuron, Remote Carrier and Eurodrone RPAS, and will allow this system to establish itself in 2050 and beyond. of the.
As for the Rafale F5 and its drones, it will allow the French armies, and its industry customers, to have a significant operational advantage until 2045 or 2050, and the arrival of the FCAS.
A combat drone for the Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon
It is in this context that the Chief of Staff of the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, Lt. General Ingo Gerhartz, spoke a few days ago in favor of the development of a combat drone to complete the range of the Eurofighter Typhoon which, like the French Rafale
The needs and operational reality of the Luftwaffe being very close to those of the French air forces, it is not surprising that General Gerhartz also recommends the development of a Loyal Wingman type combat drone. , to support its Typhoon and extend their capabilities.
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