Successful First Flight for Neuron
(Source: Saab AB; issued Dec. 1, 2012)
Neuron, the European Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle demonstrator, has completed its first flight in French Istres achieving a major milestone in the Neuron programme, where defence and security company Saab has played a critical role in the design, development and production.

Now more flight testing will follow. The Neuron is expected to fly in Sweden in 2014.

“This first flight demonstrates Saab’s ability to develop and produce advanced aeronautics products. The Neuron programme has resulted in experiences that will further enhance Saab’s competiveness with regard to high-tech and cost efficient design and production methods. The knowledge gained is being used in the development of the next-generation Gripen, our civil production and future activities within Unmanned Aerial Systems,” says Mats Palmberg Vice President and Head of Marketing and Future Products, at Saab’s business area Aeronautics.

Within the programme Saab has been responsible for avionics, fuel systems, critical parts of the ground station, as well as the design and production of the main fuselage. The fuselage was delivered to Dassault Aviation in France in 2011. Saab has also been involved in flight testing, aerodynamics and stealth technology.

Neuron is the first large size stealth platform designed in Europe. It is a demonstrator optimised and intended for the testing of various key technologies and will not enter serial production. The aim of the demonstrator programme is to develop expertise among participating nations and industries in advanced aeronautics.

Furthermore, the participation in the Neuron programme has strengthened Saab’s ability to manage and take part in large collaborative projects with industries and authorities spanning several nations. A particularly valuable experience considering the defence industry’s shift towards a growing share of development work being done collaboratively. (ends)



Alenia Aermacchi Welcomes the Successful Neuron First Flight
(Source: Alenia Aermacchi; issued Dec. 1, 2012)
ISTRES, France --- The Neuron, the first European technology demonstrator for an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), made its first flight today from the French military test center at Istres.

Neuron represents a triple “first” for Europe and the aerospace industries of participating countries: first UCAV developed by several European countries in cooperation, first stealthy combat aircraft and first combat aircraft designed and developed using a fully digital environment.

The aircraft was rolled out in January after five years of design, development, assembly and static testing.

Alenia Aermacchi CEO Giuseppe Giordo commented: “We are very proud of this milestone achievement of the European aeronautics industry. Our strong commitment to the development of highly innovative products spans many years of development, manufacturing and usage procedures completely different from those traditionally used in this industry. The technological development and demonstration of unmanned aircraft capable of performing complex missions autonomously, which are the new frontier of flight, have been a specific focus

Alenia Aermacchi’s technological demonstrators Sky-Y and Sky-X aircraft were the first UAVs in their category developed in Europe. The jet engine Sky-X first flew on 2005 while the Sky-Y MALE on 2007.

“For Alenia Aermacchi and the entire Italian industry – Giordo said - the first Neuron flight is an extremely important achievement, because we have supported this project from the outset with significant human, financial and technology resources aimed at validating solutions and technologies capable of being used in all future programs in this field.”

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