The nEUROn project was launched in 2006 and developed by an industry group led by France's Dassault Aviation, with support from Italy's Alenia Aermacchi, Sweden's Saab, Spain's Airbus, Greece's HAI and Switerzland's RUAG.

The UCAV's fuselage length and wingspan are each approximately 10 meters. The plane weighs approximately 4,500kg empty 6,000kg fully loaded. 

nEUROn will have a payload capability of two laser guided 250kg (550lb) bombs in two weapon bays. The air vehicle is expected to have an endurance of several hours and high subsonic speed ranging from mach .7 to .8.

Program Milestones:

First Flight - 1 December 2012

France to Conduct NEURON UCAV Carrier-Interoperability Testing

19 May 2016 - France's Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has announced a new campaign of flight tests for the NEURON Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator to include sea trials with the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle (R91).

Charles De Gaulle (R91) - Marine Nationale Photo

The new testing regime's first flight took place earlier this week at Istres-Le Tubé Air Base near Marseille. DGA's Flight Test Center will oversee additional testing which is designed to study the use of a UCAV in a naval setting. Following sea trials with the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, additional electromagnetic signature measurement evaluations will be carried out until early 2017 at DGA's facility in Bruz.

The first series of NEURON flight tests were conducted on behalf of the aircraft's six contributing nations between December 2012 and September 2015 and included 123 flights. 

Update & Clarification: French naval sources have confirmed that these sea trials will consists of interactions with the carrier and other naval missions, rather than arrested landings and catapult take-off.

1 December 2012 - NEURON first flight tests.