Dassault Aviation has revealed what could be the contours of the next generation fighter jet to be made by a European team led by France.
The video, ‘Wings for Europe’ released by the company on its website in May this year showed the outline of the new jet that France and Germany are eyeing to produce jointly. The video describes the aircraft as “2018 European New Generation Aircraft”. France and Germany in July last year, planned to jointly develop a new fighter jet.
"The development of the combat drone would even benefit a larger program, the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) comprising a manned fighter aircraft, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier had said at that time.
In June this year, France and Germany signed two joint letters of intent, including one on the Future Air Combat System (SCAF), designating "France as a leading nation" for the project to succeed the Rafale and the Eurofighter warplanes by 2040.
According to a statement issued by the French Defence Ministry on June 18, 2018, the program will bring together "a new multi-purpose combat aircraft, adapted to contemporary air threats and exploiting the potential of artificial intelligence, network-based combat capabilities, including drones of various types."
The letter of intent calls for a study phase to be launched by the end of 2018, including architectural work and the rapid launch of demonstrators, the ministry said. This work should foreshadow, by 2025, the concepts to be retained for the future operational system.
The second letter of intent concerns developing a tank called the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), which will be led by Germany and for which a joint demonstration phase is planned by mid-2019. It provides a milestone in 2022 and the establishment by 2024 of a detailed operational need.
Paris and Berlin "share the same ambitious vision of a system based on the most innovative technologies and able to ensure operational superiority in all contexts and on all terrains," the French ministry had said.
Fully integrated with Scorpion in France and the HEER system in Germany, MGCS will be "the terrestrial system of reference for its deployment in 2035."
Dassault and Airbus signed an initial cooperation agreement in late April to develop SCAF, leaving the door open for other European partners. The mission letter also stipulates that other partners, particularly European, can join the project.