Dassault and Airbus who are jointly developing the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS), have sought that participating European governments move forward by launching the programme’s demonstrator phase.
Two years ago, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to jointly develop the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS). “This initiative, of major importance for European Defence, now should quickly move forward by launching the programme’s demonstrator phase,” a Dassault statement said Monday.
What is important now is to achieve concrete progress on FCAS. The upcoming Franco-German ministerial council meeting should serve as a catalyst for this joint desire to move forward by rapidly launching this demonstrator phase and committing the partner nations to a reliable funding plan.
“If Europe does not move forward — and move forward quickly — on this programme, it will be impossible to maintain the development and production capabilities needed for a sovereign defence industry,” the statement said.
The goal is for FCAS to enter operational service in 2040 at the latest. This deadline might seem a long way in the future, but planning needs to start well in advance.
It is true that the first major steps have already been taken successfully. A Franco-German industrial organisation has been defined under the respective national leadership of DASSAULT AVIATION and AIRBUS.
A Franco-German Joint Concept Study (JCS) was launched in January 2019 to define the main features of the system. Airbus and Dassault Aviation wish to underline how quickly both companies had jointly concluded agreements and prepared themselves to move forward. Spain has officially joined the programme as the third partner nation.
However, future technologies need to be developed now for subsequent flight testing and qualification. This maturation phase is essential to de-risk and anticipate developments of such complexity. That is why government and industry agreed to launch a demonstrator development phase as early as possible, for which French and German industry, coordinated by DASSAULT AVIATION and AIRBUS, submitted proposals during the Paris Air Show in June 2019.