The Talarion is a Medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned air vehicle, designed by EADS (with technological input from Turkish Aerospace Industries) to meet future European military needs for reconnaissance, intelligence, and surveillance. EADS has run a preliminary design review, and is awaiting orders.
The source of the name is the Talaria – the winged sandals of the Greek Messenger God Hermes.
Design and Development
Development of the Talarion was revealed with a mockup displayed at the 2009 Paris Airshow. The vehicle is a twin jet engined UAV with a wingspan of approximately 28 m. Avionics will be built by Saab.
French parliamentary estimates place Talarion’s total program costs at around EUR 2.9 billion, including around 12-15 systems of 3 UAVs each.
Partnership with Turkish Aerospace Industries
In May 2011, a group of Turkish suppliers, led by Turkish Aerospace Industries, joined the project by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EADS Cassidian for the Talarion UAV programme.Turkey (Turkish Aerospace Industries) with the TAI Anka is the only European government to have developed and successfully tested a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV of its own and accordingly has gained significant experience with the development of larger long endurance UAV platforms. The TAI Anka made its debut at the 2010 Farnborough air show and is scheduled to enter service with the Turkish Air Force in early 2012.
Partnership with Alenia
In December 2011, Cassidian and Alenia announced that they would cooperate on MALE UAVs – including Talarion.
In February 2012, Cassidian announced plans to wind down the Talarion programme, after failing to secure financial backing from potential future buyers; the European market for UAVs now has stronger competition, and budgets are under pressure.
In 2010, EADS expressed frustration that the “home” nations – France, Germany, Spain, and the UK – were not committed to buying Talarion. However, other countries’ armed forces might also buy it; apart from an expected order from Turkey, Talarion may also be a candidate in a Canadian competition to acquire unmanned surveillance systems, and in January 2013 it was been suggested that the South Korean government might consider the Talarion, or the BAE Telemos, as an alternative to the RQ-4 Global Hawk.
The Talarion is likely to compete with the Telemos for various future European deals.
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