MALE RPAS - Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System
The European MALE RPAS (Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) will be operated worldwide to especially support ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) missions.
The first step of the Programme is a 2 years Definition Study to define the baseline specifications/design for the future MALE RPAS. The design-to-cost activity will provide the basis for full development, affordable to the Participating States, and optimising operational performance. The two major milestones of the Definition Study are a System Requirement Review (SRR) and a System Preliminary Design Review (SPDR). The SPDR will demonstrate the quality and fitness for purpose of the proposed design. Especially, Air Traffic Integration (ATI) and certification of the MALE RPAS is a key objective of the Programme. This will give the Participating States full confidence that the Development step can be launched with acceptable residual risks.
Preparation for the potential next steps (Development , Production including initial ISS) will be part of the activities during the second year of the Definition Study.
In August 2016, the MALE RPAS Programme was integrated into OCCAR and the Definition Study contract was signed on 26 August 2016.
The Participating States endorsed in July 2017 the baseline configuration “twin-engine turboprop” for the further Definition Study activities. Further, in January 2018, the SRR was passed and accepted by OCCAR-EA.
Main system performances:
- Main Missions: ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) and armed ISTAR
- 24/7 day and night mission capability
- All weather capability
- Efficient maintenance
- Interoperability with existing and future defence systems
- The system shall obtain full airworthiness certification and ATI (Air Traffic Integration) capability in non-segregated airspace
On 15 June the Bundeswehr organized the 5th „Tag der Bundeswehr“ opening the doors at 14 different locations all over Germany. Due to the established good neighbourhood the Bundeswehr Research Institute for Materials, Fuels and Lubricants (WIWeB) in Erding has invited the MALE RPAS Programme Division (MRPD) to display the 1:10 model of the remotely piloted aircraft at that occasion.
The future prime contractor for the European MALE RPAS Stage 2 contract, Airbus Defence & Space GmbH, submitted the offer for the envisaged global contract covering development and production including initial in-service support to the MALE RPAS Programme Division in Hallbergmoos on 29 May 2019. For this offer submission the future prime contractor has been supported by Airbus Defence & Space S.A.U., Dassault Aviation SA and Leonardo s.p.a. as major subcontractors.
Another major milestone in the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS) programme was attained with the achievement of the System Preliminary Design Review on November 22nd.
The European MALE RPAS Programme Participating States have taken a major decision on the way ahead. After an intense period of preparation, OCCAR-EA launched the invitation to tender to the potential future prime contractor, Airbus Defence & Space GmbH on 31 October.