An Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) has flown in formation with manned aircraft for the first time.
The nEUROn UCAV flew for just under two hours with a Rafale fighter and a Falcon 7X business jet, plus two chase aircraft that photographed the event several hundred kilometres over the Mediterranean on March 20, 2104.
The nEUROn is a European program for an UCAV technology demonstrator, conducted by Dassault Aviation as prime contractor under the authority of French defence procurement agency DGA.
According to Dassault Aviation, for each manoeuvre in the planned sequence, aircraft from different holding points and with very different characteristics had to fly alongside each other in a confined space. An additional challenge was controlling the pilotless aircraft flying near four other aircraft.