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Dassault nEUROn

Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)

France | 2018

"The nEUROn UCAV is a european-based consortium project being led by the French concern of Dassault."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/22/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The Dassault nEUROn is an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator intended to provide participating European powers with a viable, long-term UCAV weapons-capable solution. While primarily headed by the French concern (Dassault), the nEUROn program is a joint European venture that includes the likes of Saab AB of Sweden, Alenia Aeronautica of Italy, EADS CASA of Spain, EAB of Greece, RUAG of Switzerland, Thales of France, and EADS France. Dassault will be responsible for final assembly of the aircraft as well as in-flight testing while the base design, avionics and fuel system are being developed by Saab. The weapons suite will be handled by Alenia Aeronautica while the communications system will be provided for by EADS CASA and Thales.

The nEUROn was originally born out of a larger, stealth-minded, unmanned, nuclear-capable, twin-engine bomber concept by Dassault until the product was scaled down in size and scope to a single-engine technology demonstrator design with more conventional weapons delivery in mind (following increased European participation). The data garnered from program will be utilized to produce a viable end-product solution for serial manufacture - be it a UCAV or full-sized manned aircraft of the future. Due to the fact that many of the participating nations do not expect to procure full-scale manned aircraft for the next several decades, the UCAV program will pave the way for future partnerships and supply much-needed experience in the joint design, development and manufacture of a single aircraft system of European origin. As such, the long-term benefits of the program are obvious.

Outwardly, the Dassault nEUROn has been given a conventional delta-winged shape with all protrusions managed along the upper wing surfaces, leaving the fuselage and wing undersides as flat and featureless as possible. There is a single engine installation at the center-top of the design with a trapezoidal air intake to aspirate the powerplant, which exhausts at the rear through a specially-designed radar-reducing assembly. The fuselage and wings are area blended into a single undisturbed surface for additional stealth qualities and there are no vertical tail surfaces - essentially making the nEUROn a "flying wing" design. The undercarriage will be fully retractable into the fuselage underside (and of the conventional tricycle arrangement) while the intended weapons bay will be internally held to further promote stealth capabilities.

Dimensionally, the nEUROn has been given a running length of 31 feet with a wingspan of 41 feet, putting it on par with a full-sized manned aircraft design or similar UCAV product such as the Lockheed RQ-170 "Sentinel". It sits empty at 4,900 kilograms and displaces at 7,000 kilograms under a full mission load while power will be derived from a single Rolls-Royce-Turbomeca Adour / SNECMA M88 turbofan engine centrally-located in the fuselage. Maximum speed is estimated at just over 600 miles per hour with a service ceiling expected to reach 46,000 feet. The flight controls and weapons deliverywill be designed will full autonomy in mind, human interaction being held as backup should the need arise.

Flight testing of the nEUROn was scheduled for 2012. The program has been ongoing since 1999 in which Dassault became the first European power to test-flight a "stealth" UCAV.

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April 2014 - The Dassault nEUROn was photographed flying in formation with a Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter and a Dassault Falcon 7X business jet over the Mediterranean Sea, showcasing some very promising progress from the UCAV's development program.

November 2015 - nEUROn has completed its weapons release and communications test flights over Sweden.

January 2019 - Spanish Eurofighter Typhoons arrived in France to undertake direct-contact sorties against the Dassault nEUROn. The tests are expected to showcase the nEUROn's stealth qualities.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Dassault nEUROn Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV).
1 x Rolls-Royce-Turbomeca Adour / SNECMA M88 turbofan engine developing 8,992 lbf of thrust.
609 mph
980 kph | 529 kts
Max Speed
45,932 ft
14,000 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Dassault nEUROn Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV).
31.2 ft
9.50 m
O/A Length
41.0 ft
(12.50 m)
O/A Width
10,803 lb
(4,900 kg)
Empty Weight
15,432 lb
(7,000 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Dassault nEUROn Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) .
Assumed support for 2 x Air-to-surface missiles and precision-guided bombs.
Notable series variants as part of the Dassault nEUROn family line.
nEUROn - Project Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Dassault nEUROn. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Dassault Aviation (Primary) - France
National flag of France National flag of Italy National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Sweden

[ France (probable); Italy (possible); Netherlands (possible); Sweden (possible) ]
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Image of the Dassault nEUROn
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Going Further...
The Dassault nEUROn Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) appears in the following collections:
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