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BAE Systems and Dassault Form Joint Venture to Build Drones

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BAE Systems, along with Dassault Aviation, on Wednesday announced a joint program to develop a next generation Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

Eric Trappier, Executive Vice President International at Dassault Aviation, at a press conference announcing the Telemos project

Eric Trappier, Executive Vice President International at Dassault Aviation, at a press conference announcing the Telemos project. (Photo by Dassault Aviation – P. Sagnes)

Earlier in the year, United Kingdom-based BAE and France-based Dassault signed an exclusive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two companies to develop the joint project, which has been named Telemos, who in Greek mythology, was the son of Eurymos, known for having the vision and foresight to warn Polyphemus about an attack by Odysseus.

According to the companies, the program will ensure that the considerable end-to-end systems capabilities of both BAE Systems and Dassault are successfully brought together to deliver a joint proposal to the UK and French Ministries of Defense for the design, development, production and support of a MALE UAS that will help safeguard the sovereign operational capability of the UK and France in the future.

Since the signing of the MOU earlier this year, Peter Richardson, Strategy and Technology Director for BAE Systems Military Air & Information said both companies had continued to work together to ensure that, as soon as the two Governments formally launch their requirement, they were well placed to develop the future frontline capability they require.

“We have already set up a joint team and will look to strengthen this with other leading industry players to ensure that the Telemos program will develop a cost-effective, autonomous system in the required timescales,” Richardson said.

Meanwhile, Eric Trappier, Executive Vice President International at Dassault Aviation, underlined that both companies would assist the sustainment of sovereign industrial capabilities which both governments have invested in developing.

“The key thing we need now is the political decision to transform this process into the first firm activity under the Anglo-French treaty on defense co-operation,” Trappier stated.

In a joint presentation, both companies will introduce the capabilities of Telemos, which reportedly has an estimated cost of €1 billion ($1.5 billion), at the Paris Air Show from June 20 to 26.

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