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Another Euro MALE UAV? Alenia Seeks Partners

The fallout from the Anglo-French deal on a new MALE UAV continued as Italy‘s Alenia Aeronautica said it was seeking partners to develop its own nine-ton UAV.

Giuseppe Giordo, CEO of the Finmeccanica unit, said Alenia was mulling the development of a new MALE that would carry a payload of more than 500 kilograms and use the same diesel propulsion system as its smaller, Sky Y prototype UAV. “Arming the UAV was an option,” said Giordo, “The Italian government wants to go ahead with the UAV and is looking for new partners which may be European or non-European”‖ he said.

Giordo said the plan had gained momentum after France and the UK had joined forces to launch the Telemos UAV model. “We had been working with BAE Systems on a MALE, but that ended when the UK and France signed their accord”‖ he said.

Giordo said he had not ruled out teaming up with EADS on its Talarion UAV. “There have been preliminary talks, but we have our Sky Y UAV – we have capabilities. Talarion could be interesting depending on the technological and industrial return. If Talarion does not give us that, we will not be interested.”

Despite fears in Italy that the Anglo-French deal will kill off the European Neuron UCAV program in which Italy is partnered with France, Giordo said he was sure the program would received funding to move beyond the development phase, with France staying on board. “Neuron is not dead” he said.

Italy had been discussing a new MALE UAV with the UK.

Defense News By TOM KINGTON

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