The French and German defense ministers who met on Monday has agreed to sign the contract to jointly develop future-oriented capabilities-such as future combat air system (FCAS) and future combat ground system (MGCS) in early 2019.
Following Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron's joint statement in the summer of 2017, expressing the political will to strengthen European defence by jointly developing FCAS and MGCS approved at the Berlin Airshow in April 2018, the defense ministers of both the nations noted that there has been significant progress of the work carried out so far, according to the joint statement issued on Monday.
The Ministers together validated the first phase of the project, as well as the industrial organization supporting the work to be done. The two ministers agreed on a Dassault-Airbus co-lead on a common concept and architectures (including connectivity) study for the FCAS as laid out in the Statement of Requirements.
On this basis the ministers aim for launching of R&D studies and demonstrations relating to the fighter aircraft and its engine at the next Paris Air Show 2019.
With regards to the future combat land system (MGCS), under German lead, the ministers welcomed the progress made on the concept and architecture studies and tasked their two ministries to share the results. On this basis, a Statement of Requirements for the conceptual studies as well as R&D activities will be agreed by the end of 2018, and Rheinmetall, and KNDS-owned KMW and NEXTER will be asked to provide an industrial proposal to successfully master respective studies and the R&D activities starting mid-2019.