LONDON, July 15 Britain and France reaffirmed
their commitment to a project to jointly develop a combat drone,
naming companies including BAE Systems and Dassault
Aviation to work on the 120 million pound ($204
Initially announced as part of a high-profile political
summit in January, the countries signed further agreements for
the two-year feasibility study into the unmanned combat air
vehicles at the Farnborough Airshow on Tuesday.
BAE, Europe's largest defence company, and Dassault Aviation
will be joined by Britain's Rolls Royce plus Thales
France and Safran from France and Selex, the
defence electronics unit of Italy's Finmeccanica, on
the drone project, the two governments said.
The two countries have had plans to collaborate on drones
and other military technology since signing a pact in 2010. Both
already have their own drone programmes - Britain's Taranis
project and France's nEUROn.
"This represents a key step in our partnership and provides
a joint roadmap for cooperation between our companies that could
ultimately lead to a joint Future Combat Air System programme in
the future," Eric Trappier, chairman and chief executive of
Dassault Aviation, and Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems,
said in a joint statement.
As part of the agreement announced on Tuesday, Britain and
France also signed a memorandum of understanding on a missile
($1 = 0.5877 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Mark Potter)