The governments of France and Germany have awarded Dassault Aviation and Airbus, the initial framework contract, Phase 1A, which launches the Demonstrator Phase for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). The two companies will be working together with MTU Aero Engines, Safran, MBDA and Thales.
“The launch of the Demonstrator Phase underlines the political confidence and determination of the FCAS partner nations and the associated industry to move forward and cooperate in a fair and balanced manner. The increased momentum enables industry to deploy the necessary resources and best capabilities to develop this decisive European defence project. FCAS will be the cornerstone project guaranteeing Europe’s future operational, industrial and technological sovereignty,” read the joint press release sent out by the six companies.
This framework initiates work on developing the demonstrators and maturing cutting-edge technologies, with the ambition to begin flight tests as soon as 2026.
This phase will, initially, focus on the main technological challenges like Next Generation Fighter (NGF), with Dassault Aviation as prime contractor and Airbus as main partner, to be the core element of Future Combat Air System.
Then on the unmanned systems Remote Carrier (RC) with Airbus as prime contractor and MBDA as main partner. Next on the Combat Cloud (CC) with Airbus as prime contractor and Thales as main partner, and Engine with Safran with the MTU as main partner.
A Simulation Environment will be jointly developed between the involved companies to ensure the consistency between demonstrators.
The next important step in the FCAS programme will be the onboarding of Spain and the involvement of additional suppliers from Phase 1B onwards, which will succeed Phase 1A after its successful conclusion.