Publications Notes de l'Ifri
Louis-Marie CLOUET, Laurence NARDON

MALE Drones: Europe's Options? Notes de l'Ifri, May 2010

European countries, lead by France, are expected to take a decision soon on the development and acquisition of MALE drones.

Their choices will be crucial not only for the preservation of European operational sovereignty in military terms but also to guarantee the future of the European aerospace industry.

MALE Drones: Europe's Options ?

The different options explored are based either on a policy of short-term purchases, or on national programs leading to strategic dead-ends, or on cooperation programs. This latter option, favoring the convergence of the needs of European countries, would allow for an optimization of financial resources.

A commitment to an ambitious European industrial policy on MALE drones represents a considerable investment. However, if handled in an efficient way by all European partners, this policy will be more fruitful in the medium to long-term than a scattering of efforts on national programs or on off-the-shelf purchases.

The launch of the European space program in the 1970s was based on the realization of the need for a common approach by top political decision-makers. The context for drones today is similar, but are European politicians up to the challenges?

This publication is available in:

french: Les drones MALE : Quelles options pour l'Europe ? (PDF)

german: Die MALE Drohnen: Handlungsperspektiven für Europa (PDF).



MALE Drones: Europe's Options ?
European Defense Industry Space European Union France Germany