France, Britain put joint drone on hold

Interim plans include possible purchase of Predators, Reapers

France and Britain will delay for 12 to 18 months a decision on how they will proceed together in developing a medium-altitude, long-range joint drone that can carry out strikes so that they can evaluate various options, reports Reuters.

The lack of an armed drone in production in the near term means that France might attempt to buy Predator or Reaper drones, which are built by General Atomics, from the United States, said Gerard Longuet, France’s defense minister, June 21 at the Paris Air Show.

The two European nations signed a major co-operation pact in November 2010, and are encouraging their top contractors, such as Britain’s BAE Systems and France’s Dassault Aviation, to get into drone development.

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