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Eurodrone Program Advances with Successful Preliminary Design Review.

Airbus Defence and Space, the prime contractor for the Eurodrone program, announced on May 16, 2024, that the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) has been successfully completed. This significant milestone was achieved in collaboration with OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) and representatives from the four customer nations: France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The PDR was attended by the three major sub-contractors, Airbus Defence and Space Spain, Dassault Aviation, and Leonardo.
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Artist rendering of the future design of the Eurodrone. (Picture source Airbus)

The PDR (Preliminary Design Review ) is a crucial step in developing the Eurodrone, demonstrating that the initial design has matured sufficiently to advance to the detailed design phase. This review included various technical assessments and evaluations, such as Wind Tunnel Testing to confirm the aerodynamic configuration and the validation of a fully representative Digital Twin. The PDR ensures that the overall design meets operational capability requirements.

Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Air Power at Airbus Defense and Space, emphasized the importance of this achievement, stating, "Performing the Preliminary Design Review for the development of Eurodrone represents an important step forward for this key European defense program. It shows a real joint effort and collaborative spirit from all industrial partners and the Customer community to ensure European sovereignty and independence in this critical segment of unmanned long endurance ISTAR capability."

The successful PDR marks the transition of the Eurodrone program into the next phase, aiming for the Critical Design Review (CDR). The CDR will be the final step in closing the architecture and system design, solidifying the blueprint for this advanced unmanned aerial system.

Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the Eurodrone is designed to be a cornerstone of future combat air systems. It will play a vital role in international conflict prevention and crisis management, providing superior operational capabilities in Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. The Eurodrone will ensure that the participating nations maintain operational superiority in critical defense segments.

Since its inception, the Eurodrone program has benefitted from both physical and digital design philosophies. It continues to demonstrate the European defense industry's collaborative spirit and technical expertise.

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