Dassault Aviation will lead the development and manufacture of Europe’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS) which is slated to complement and eventually replace current generation of Eurofighter and Rafale fighter aircraft between 2035 and 2040.
“The future combat aircraft will be developed by Dassault Aviation, which will take the control of the program, when there is (industrial) cooperation, the nations must decide, there is always a leading nation, for the FCAS, it will be France,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said at a joint press conference along with her French counterpart Florence Parly after signing an agreement to launch the project at ILA, the international aerospace fair in Berlin, La Tribune reported Thursday.
Dassault and Airbus will jointly work on the development and production of FCAS. The FCAS will be developed as a system of systems, combining elements connected and operating together, including a next generation fighter aircraft together with Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the existing fleet of aircraft (which will still operate beyond 2040), future cruise missiles and drones flying in swarms, Dassault said in a statement Wednesday.
The overall system will be interoperable and connected in a larger perimeter with mission aircraft, satellites, NATO systems and land and naval combat systems.