Kappa Optronics Joins Eurodrone MALE RPAS Program

Kappa brings state-of-the-art multispectral sensor technology to 24/7 aerospace applications such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) piloting or aerial refueling By Phoebe Grinter / 21 Jun 2022

Kappa Optronics has received an order from Airbus Defence & Space to supply vision systems for the Eurodrone European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS) program. The order was placed after the conclusion of a rigorous selection process. 

The launch nations France, Italy, Spain, and Germany, represented by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), want to develop the Eurodrone entirely with European technology.

“It is both a great honor and an obligation that Airbus has placed this trust in us,” said Johannes Overhues, co-shareholder and managing director of Kappa optronics. “We look forward to making a decisive contribution to the success of the Eurodrone with our key expertise in the field of safety-critical vision systems for aerospace applications!”

With a passionate development team in Germany and Spain, international supplier of aerospace cameras and vision systems Kappa brings state-of-the-art multispectral sensor technology to 24/7 aerospace applications such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) piloting or aerial refueling.

The Eurodrone is the second major aerospace program for which Kappa has been contracted by Airbus. For more than 15 years, Kappa has supplied a cutting-edge vision system for the aerial refueling system in the Airbus A330 MRTT transport and tanker aircraft. 

An impetus for Kappa, Overhues said: “In the last two years, we have positioned our aerospace division even more strongly and invested heavily. This includes, for example, the establishment of our new subsidiary in Madrid and a massive expansion of our international development team. Among other things, we were able to recruit 12 new specialist engineers in the aviation sector. We have also systematically expanded our technology portfolio, for example in infrared technology.” 

With dedicated process assurance and modern agile working methods, the company is equipped and qualified for the most demanding projects.

“For us, Kappa has always been a very reliable and technologically leading supplier with whom we enjoy working closely,” said José-Maria Hernandez-Garcia, responsible purchaser of Airbus Defence & Space. “Due to the investments made, Kappa has been able to compete with other suppliers once again in this important, European program.”

Colleague Miguel Ángel Escudero García, Airbus Defence & Space program coordinator, added, “The experience from the MRTT program was a good baseline, but our supplier qualification and selection procedures are very strict for any new program. The Kappa team had to prove their competence in detail to get into this program. They convinced us!”

Responsible at Kappa is the head of the Aviation Business Unit, Axel Zimmer: “Our team has been preparing for this project for years and has performed excellently. We were able to win the selection process with our good and resilient concepts and we will also deliver a top performance in the implementation. How crucial a high-performance Eurodrone is for our independent defense capability in Europe has become clear to everyone this year at the latest. We know what we are working for!”  

Find suppliers & manufacturers of Optronic Components for Drones & Unmanned Systems >>

Posted by Phoebe Grinter Unmanned Systems Technology’s digital editor and copywriter Phoebe takes a fresh and enthusiastic approach to researching, writing and posting the latest unmanned technology updates, and in managing the UST social channels. Connect & Contact