BRUSSELS – France, Germany and other European countries on Tuesday formed a "drone users club" to pool information on the use of pilotless aircraft and develop a rival to the U.S. and Israeli machines that dominate the field.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the European Defense Agency has been tasked with drawing up a list of military requirements, with the goal being creation of a "European generation" of drones within 10 years.
Some Europeans fear they are falling behind in an area that may determine military aviation's future. Three major European defense contractors in June called for a concerted European effort.
What Le Drian called a "club" is open to European Union nations operating drones or that intend to within five years. Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain also joined.