France and Germany have awarded the first-ever contract – a Joint Concept Study (JCS) – to Dassault Aviation and Airbus for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme.
The launch of the JCS was announced by the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and her German counterpart, Ursula von der Leyen, at a meeting in Paris.
This planned Next Generation Weapons System will consist of a manned ‘New Generation Fighter’ (NGF) as well as new and upgraded weapons and a set of unmanned systems (‘remote carriers’) linked by a Combat Cloud and its Ecosystem embedded in a System-of-Systems FCAS architecture.
The JCS is based on the bi-nationally agreed High Level Common Operational Requirements Document (HLCORD) signed at Berlin Air Show ILA in April 2018 between the Defence Ministers of France and Germany as well as respective national concept studies.
Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, said: “This new step is the cornerstone to ensure tomorrow’s European strategic autonomy. We, as Dassault Aviation, will mobilise our competencies as system architect and integrator, to meet the requirements of the nations and to keep our continent as a world-class leader in the crucial field of air combat systems.”
Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, said: “FCAS is one of the most ambitious European defence programmes of the century. With today’s contract signature, we are finally setting this high-technology programme fully in motion. Both companies are committed to providing the best solutions to our nations with regard to the New Generation Fighter as well as the systems of systems accompanying it. We are truly excited about having been given this opportunity and appreciate the trust placed in both our companies.”
Paris Air Show
The two-year study will begin on 20 February, 2019.
It aims to conceptualise the different FCAS capabilities and to pave the way for future design and industrialisation. The partners are targeting full operational capability by 2040.
The study will prepare and initiate demonstrator programmes for launch at the Paris Air Show in June 2019.