The first European stealth drone built for combat, dubbed the Neuron or “nEUROn,” made its maiden voyage from Istres, France on Dec. 1.
The nEUROn is a technology demonstrator for a European Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) and represents just one of the many ways in which drone technology is progressing in leaps and bounds.
Indeed, drone technology is progressing so quickly that some of what is currently being used is simply hard to believe. Pile on the fact that drones are already being used in the United States with more to come in the near future and you have an ugly picture.
Furthermore, the prospect of widespread use of fully automated weapons systems, also called “killer robots” by some, has actually become so concerning that Human Rights Watch recently penned an extensive report calling for bans on such technology.
The report was also reiterated in a press release from Dassault Aviation stating that the test was completed successfully “in collaboration with the flight test personnel of the French defense procurement agency (DGA).”
“The nEUROn was launched in 2005 by the customer, DGA, and involves France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Greece and Switzerland,” states the release. “It defines a future for the aeronautic excellence of Europe.”
However, as Dassault Aviation points out, this is far from a project with one company behind it.
Indeed the nEUROn was “designed to pool the skills and know-how of Alenia Aermacchi (Italy), Saab (Sweden), EADS-CASA (Spain), HAI (Greece), RUAG (Switzerland) and Thales (France).”
According to the Aviationist the nEUROn “had rolled out on Jan. 20, 2012, after five years of design, development, and static testing.”
The Aviationist points out that unlike the American X-47B, which looks quite similar, “the nEURONn is only a full-scale technology demonstrator (powered by a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca “Adour” engine) for an UCAV and will not be produced in series.”
“After its first voyage, it’ll continue to be tested in France until 2014, when it’ll be first moved to the Vidsel range in Sweden and then to the Perdasdefogu range in Italy,” Wired reports. “In both locations, its stealth capabilities and ability to drop precision-guided missiles will be tested.”
All we can do at this point is hope that Europe does not begin engaging in a drone war on the level of that conducted by the United States.
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Source: End the Lie