The 16th UVS Annual Conference is organized within the framework of the European Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) roadmap.
They have proven essential in modern-day operations around the world : Remotely Piloted Air Systems, or RPAS, are now a key priority for the European Defence Agency whose teams are working on several ways to improve Member States’ capabilities in that domain.
Speaking today during the 16th UVS (Unmanned Vehicle Systems) Annual Conference held 23-26 June at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels, and which drew over 200 participants from 30 countries, Jean-Youri Marty, RPAS program manager at EDA, stressed that this domain was recognized a major priority by Heads of States and Government at the last European Council in December 2013. “We know we have the skills and industries in Europe not only to do this but also to become a first class player in the field”, he added.
EDA’s work on RPAS in channeled into five main workstrands. The first one focuses on the preparation of a future European Male RPAS programme, based on a Common Staff Target endorsed by Member States in November 2013. Outputs of this ongoing preparation phase are now expected around 2016.
Another area aims at optimizing the operational use of Male (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) RPAS currently in service in Europe. Seven EDA Member States have already decided to set up a dedicated Male RPAS community.
EDA also helps its Member States harmonizing airworthiness certification processes, in collaboration with the European Aviation Safety Agency. In the meantime, the Agency conducts several studies on the critical issue of military RPAS integration insertion in the general air traffic, again in close cooperation with the EASA but also with the European Commission, the Sesar Joint Undertaking and Eurocontrol. Finally, EDA supports its Members states in developing new technological solutions to prepare future RPAS.