FCAS: Europe’s Sixth-Generation Fighter Aircraft Program Could Take Flight

The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) has been stalled in recent months due to squabbling among the partner nations of France, Germany, and Spain. Touted to be Europe’s largest ωєαρσиs program, it has been marred by infighting over a number of key issues including intellectual property (IP) sharing between lead contractors Airbus and Dassault Aviation.

European sixth-generation fighter stays stalled amid industrial rancour |  News | Flight Global

However, it now appears that Paris, Berlin, and Madrid reached an agreement on starting the next phase of the development of a new fighter jet. On Friday, the three partner nations announced that an industrial agreement was achieved after intense negotiations – confirming earlier reports that a deal had been pending.

FCAS Back on Track

The German Defense Ministry said the project is back on track, with the various partners confirming that a cooperative approach on equal footing would be pursued in the project – even as it is under overall French responsibility.

Germany reports key agreement will revive stalled FCAS effort | News |  Flight Global

“The political agreement on FCAS is a great step and – especially in these times – an important sign of the excellent Franco-German-Spanish cooperation,” German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht told Reuters on Friday. “It strengthens Europe’s military capabilities and secures important know-how not only for our, but also for the European industry.”

EUROPE’S SIXTH-GENERATION FIGHTER

French President Emmanuel Macron and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel jointly announced plans for the FCAS in July 2017, which will include a “sixth-generation” fighter jet, along with a range of associated ωєαρσиs, including drones.

The goal of the project is to replace French Rafale, along with German and Spanish Eurofighters beginning in 2040. However, Dassault chief executive Eric Trappier had warned earlier this year that 2050 would be a more realistic deαdline.

Pháp bán lô tiêm kích Rafale lớn nhất lịch sử - VnExpress

It isn’t clear if the new agreement could “jumpstart” it enough to meet the earlier timeline.

Airbus and Dassault Aviation have been close to formally advancing to a crucial stage of the FCAS, which would include a demonstrator jet to be built, the Financial Times reported last week. To date, about €3.8bn had been earmarked for this next stage — dubbed “Phase 1b.”

PAST AIR TURBULENCE

The FCAS hasn’t been without issues, even as it was meant to help bring closer ties between the European partners. Dassault has been seen to refuse to budge on the IP rights, while Airbus has pushed for a larger workshare of the project – and has called for “equal footing.”

The in-fighting was compounded by the fact that Berlin and Paris have also had other disagreements on defense and energy projects.

Europe's sixth generation fighter jet takes major step forward - Aerospace  Manufacturing

The FCAS program was set to enter its research and development (R&D) stage earlier this year and had risked falling behind schedule as the companies reached an impasse.

It now appears that the issues are resolved, but the state of the program is likely to be discussed when French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne meets with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Germany on November 25. The visit could help improve defense cooperation as Europe rethinks its military strategy amid Russia’s ωαя against Ukraine.

Related Posts

Russian Ka 52M helicopter receives new missiles, endangering Western tanks

Main battle tanks and helicopter ԍuɴsнιᴘs are vital equipment on the land battlefield. In order to deal with more and more advanced Western tanks, Russia continues to…

Made in Israel: Meet the Most Survivable Tank in the World

The Merkava tank was designed in the 1970s following the failure to purchase Chieftain tanks from the United Kingdom. The Merkava was designed in the 1970s following…

The Aging F-15 Eagle Is Still a Formidable Fighter

The F-15 airframe in all its flavors will almost certainly spend an impressive half-century in active service—a first for a front line U.S. Air Force fighter. For…

Five Predictions About The 6th Generation Fighter

United State, Russia, and China have already presented their fifth generation aircraft. Undoubtedly, the United States is ahead with its F-22s and F-35s, both in quantity and…

China is worried about new US stealth drones

The conclusions of Chinese experts come with several major caveats. Their analysis relies entirely on open-source information and “reverse-engineering softwᴀʀe.”  Chinese engineers say they have identified critical…

The MQ-25 Stingray Drone Could Make the F-35 a Long-Range Killer

The MQ-25 Stingray is an uncrewed aerial refueling drone that is being developed by Boeing. The MQ-25 Stingray promises to bring new functionality to the F-35 fighter…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *