nEUROn Subsystems Begin to Assemble at Istres

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nEUROn design office at Saint-Cloud (European UCAV technology demonstrator). Photo: Dassault

SAAB AB has delivered to Dassault the front and central fuselage sections of the European UCAV technology demonstrator nEUROn. Dassault Aviation the Prime contractor for the nEROn. As subassemblies and parts of the unmanned aircraft are arriving at Istres, nEUROn program is entering the critical phase of assembly and integration of the final air vehicle.

nEUROn design office at Saint-Cloud (European UCAV technology demonstrator). Photo: Dassault
nEURON front and central fuselage sections, delivered on 25 January 2011 by SAAB AB (Sweden) to the Prime contractor, Dassault Aviation (France). Photo: Dassault

The rear fuselage section has already been delivered in mid-January by Greece’s Hellenic Aerospace Industries (HAI). The fuselage section is due to arrive from Sweden in February. ‘Stealth’-related parts manufactured by Dassault Aviation in France will be delivered in several shipments until March. Other structural elements expected here include the ordnance release pantograph built by RUAG in Switzerland, due to arrive by the end of February; to follow by the two half wings sent from in Spain by EADS-CASA early March. Alenia is building the two weapon bay doors in Italy due to arrive from Italy in March. SAAB will also deliver the three landing gear doors in April.

According to Prime contractor Dassault, the team has already drawn substantial lessons from the program, including in the field of program management and schedule optimization. The Dassault team, assisted by the teams delegated to Istres by the various industrial partners, will perform the final layout, piping, electrical wiring and equipment fitting, as defined in the digital mock-up reference established by the six partners on the virtual plateau, as well as the final assembly. Then, during the last quarter of 2011, the Dassault Aviation team will perform the ground tests of the nEUROn, followed by the first engine run-up by end 2011, aiming at a maiden flight in mid-2012.

Neuron - an artist concept. by Dassault Aviation