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French Air Force presents nEUROn in flight

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nEUROn, Falcon 8X and Rafale in flight. Photo: Dassault Aviation/S Randé

SAINT-CLOUD (BNS): Europe's nEUROn unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator was recently presented in flight at an air meet at Istres.

For the first time in world aeronautical history a stealth aircraft controlled from the ground was flown in public at the event organized by teams from Dassault Aviation, along with the French defense procurement agency (DGA) and the French Air Force.

The presentation, which was carried out by the Dassault Aviation flight test center, lasted about 15 minutes. After takeoff, the nEUROn was joined by a Rafale and a Falcon 8X, a Dassault Aviation statement said.

"This formation of three aircraft illustrates the technological expertise necessary for tomorrow's aeronautical projects. It also contributes to the centennial celebrations of our Group, which has been designing, building and supporting civil and military aircraft since 1916," said Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier.

The three aircraft flew past in formation at an altitude of 150 meters above the Istres runway at 350 km/h, less than 400 meters from thousands of spectators. This flying display, in a limited airspace, represents a real achievement, both technically and in terms of flying skills.

In March 2014, the nEUROn became the world's first unmanned combat air vehicle to fly in formation with other aircraft (a Rafale and a Falcon 7X).

nEUROn is a European programme for an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator, conducted by Dassault Aviation as prime contractor under the authority of French defense procurement agency DGA.

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