Joint industrial proposal delivery to French and German governments for Demonstrator Phase of Future Combat Air System commemorated with model reveal

Dassault Aviation and Airbus SE revealed a demonstrator of their New Generation Fighter at the Paris Airshow 2019.

The aviation manufacturers have delivered a joint industrial proposal to the French and German governments for the first Demonstrator Phase of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). The milestone was commemorated by a reveal of models of the New Generation Fighter and Remote Carriers on the opening day of the 2019 Paris Air Show.

The reveal, by Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation and Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space was witnessed by the host of opening ceremony, French president Emmanuel Macron, as well as the French armed forces minister, Florence Parly, the German minister of defence, Ursula Von Der Leyen and Spanish minister of defence, Margarita Robles.

The initial Demonstrator Phase will cover the period between 2019 and mid-2021 and will mark the starting point for prototype and technology development for a New Generation Fighter (NGF), Remote Carriers (RC) and an Air Combat Cloud (ACC) to fly by 2026.

Agreements are also in place with other manufacturers including MBDA Systems and Thales which include a defined scope of planning of the first Demonstrator Phase, working processes and commercial agreements. Additionally, a transparent and fair handling of Intellectual Property Rights has been established within the respective teaming agreements. In parallel, Safran and MTU have been tasked with development of a new engine.

Europe’s most decisive military air combat programme

Eric Trappier, chairman and chief executive officer of Dassault Aviation, said:“The Joint Concept Study awarded to Dassault Aviation and Airbus in January 2019 was the first step in a fruitful cooperation between both companies. The first Demonstrator Phase marks another decisive step in the Next Generation Weapon System industrial organisation in which the New Generation Fighter, to be built by Dassault and Airbus, with Dassault Aviation as prime contractor, as well as the Remote Carriers and Air Combat Cloud with Airbus as prime contractor, will be the cornerstone of the Future Combat Air System.”

He added: “The progress we have achieved on the FCAS programme in recent months is remarkable. It will shape Europe’s most decisive military air combat programme for the decades to come and turn out a strong move in constructing Europe’s sovereignty.”

Spain becomes partner nation

Dirk Hoke, chief executive officer of Airbus Defence and Space, said: “I am very satisfied with the level of trust and partnership we have built with Dassault already in the execution of the Joint Concept Study, and now with the industrial proposal we’ve submitted to the both governments. The principles of our industrial cooperation include joint decision making, a clear governance set-up, transparent ways of working, and a common preparation and negotiation of this first phase of the demonstrator activities.”

After initiating the negotiation phase through the delivered proposal, Dassault Aviation and Airbus expect a contract award for the first Demonstrator Phase by Q4 2019.

The governments of France and Germany also officially welcomed Spain as a partner nation in the sixth-generation Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme at the Paris Airshow.

With the agreement, announced by French defence minister Florence Parly, German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, and Margarita Robles, defence minister for Spain, in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, three Airbus home nations now form the core part of Europe’s most decisive military aviation programme for the next decades.

Alberto Gutierrez, head of military aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “Starting FCAS on a bilateral basis between France and Germany was important to kick-start the programme and to get it on track. The integration of Spain now is a credible step forward towards the envisioned Europeanisation of FCAS. Not only is Spain one of Airbus’ founding countries but it’s also an industrial stronghold for military aircraft in our company. The country is a key contributor to Europe’s defence capabilities as well as an experienced and trusted partner in joint defence programmes. So we’re not only glad to see Spain join FCAS, we also believe it is a natural evolution for the programme.”