nEUROn (formerly spelled “Neuron”) is the “European UCAV technology demonstrator”. This delta wing stealth Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) project is the final phase of the French Dassault Aviation LOGIDUC 3-step stealth “combat drone” programme. Until June 2005, the UCAV nEUROn design was a full scale evolution of the twin-engine AVE-C Moyen Duc (2001) tactical UAV whose appearance was inspired by the stealth bomber
Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit. The full scale replica unveiled at the Paris Air Show 2005 revealed the original design was revised to a “less ambitious” single-engine delta. The nEUROn development, originally planned by Dassault as “AVE Grand Duc”, evolved to an European cooperation including Swedish Saab, Greek EAB, Swiss RUAG Aerospace, Spanish EADS CASA and Italian Alenia. As a “technology demonstrator”, a reduced number of units will be produced to explore new operational concepts for a future generation of autonomous stealth fighter aircrafts that will be produced in 2020 or 2025.
However Dassault plan to primarily use the data collected by the demonstrator to produce derived UCAVs. The French maker states the nEUROn’s Adour engine (tuned from the SEPECAT Jaguar) will be replaced in the production version by a more powerful, specific, engine based on Snecma’s M88 from the Dassault Rafale. According to the DGA, nEUROn test flights will be proceeded in France, Sweden and Italy in early 2010