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Progress of the EDA Future Unmanned Aerial System project

In November 2008 the EDA Steering Board approved a new Category B project on a Future Aerial Unmanned System (or FUAS). Seven EDA participating Member States contribute to this project: Germany, Finland, France, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. The FUAS project is currently in its Preparation Phase. It aims at fulfilling Army and Navy tactical ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) requirements from the seven contributing Member States, reflected in the Common Staff Requirement (CSR), by means of a Vertical Take Off and Landing Unmanned Aerial System (VTOL-UAS). An initial in service horizon of the FUAS is the timeframe 2016-2018.  

Based on the CSR, the Request for Information was submitted by EDA on 3 June 2009 to a list of industries worldwide at the request of the cMS. The RFI was divided in five parts: System, RADAR payload, Data Link, Electro-Optic/Infrared (EO/IR) payload and Automatic Take Off and Landing (ATOL) System. EDA has received responses from 19 companies and has transmitted these to the cMS for analysis.  

The results of the cMS’ analyses of the RFI will have two uses: first, to refine the cMS requirements to bring these into line with what is feasible in the short to medium term; second, to contribute the definition of the scope of the next phase. This project, which is now in a Preparation process, will be followed by a Definition Phase that will lead to Development and Production.  

The FUAS project has interfaces to other important EDA efforts and initiatives in the field of ISTAR capability development, such as Maritime Surveillance (MARSUR), FAS (Future Air Systems), Airworthiness and UAS insertion into General Airspace, among others.