First European Stealth Drone Makes Test Flight

The "killer robot" arises strong objections from human rights groups

The first European drone named Neuron and powered by a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca “Adour” engine, performed its first flight on Saturday, December 1, from Dassault Aviation's test base in France.

“Today, the nEUROn, Europe’s unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) stealth technology demonstrator, successfully completed its maiden flight from the Dassault Aviation company’s flight test base in Istres, in collaboration with the flight test personnel of the French defense procurement agency (DGA),” Dassault Aviation officials declared.

The drone, constructed by an international team including scientists from Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Sweden and Switzerland in about five years, is believed to be more powerful than the ones developed by the United States, Daily Mail reports.

With a ten-meter length and a five-tone weight, the drone is intended to perform rocket carrying missions, being distantly controlled by a person.

“The nEUROn will continue to undergo testing in France until 2014, at which time it will be sent to Vidsel in Sweden for a series of operational trials,” said Dassault Aviation officials.

“It will then go to the Perdadesfogu range (Italy) for further tests, in particular firing and stealth measurements.”

The drone's aspect is comparable to that of the American X-47B, but unlike this one, the European machinery hasn't been projected as a mass product.

The product developers say Neuron is rather conceived as a technological experiment to set the basis for further evolution in the field, Huffpost reports.

The drone technologies' development involves a lot of energy and efforts in countries all around the world, including the United States, European states and China.

The increasing phenomenon raises strong objections from the human rights organization. Calling them the “killer robots,” the militants require the machinery's banning before it gets to enter a war and “destroys human civilization,” a possibility currently analyzed by scientists from Cambridge University.

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