Europe launches Airbus-led military drone programme

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Airbus is seen at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac
A logo of Airbus is seen at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac, near Toulouse, France February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

PARIS, Feb 24 (Reuters) - A European arms procurement agency representing France, Germany, Spain and Italy signed a long-awaited contract with Airbus (AIR.PA) for the development of a new European military drone, Airbus said on Thursday.

The contract with procurement agency OCCAR includes the development and manufacturing of 20 Medium Altitude, Long Endurance systems and 5 years of initial in-service support.

Eurodrone will generate more than 7,000 high-tech jobs and strengthen European industrial sovereignty, Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, said in a statement following a signing that coincided with the outbreak of conflict in Ukraine after lengthy delays in negotiations.

Airbus represents Germany and Spain, with Dassault Aviation (AM.PA) involved for France and Leonardo (LDOF.MI) for Italy.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Editing by Tim Hepher

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