France will launch the Future Combat Air System (SCAF) demonstrator next year as part of the enhancement of the armed forces' operational capabilities.
Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, made the announcement as part of the discussion of the Finance Bill (PLF) for 2021 in the French parliament on Thursday.
In addition to the SCAF demonstrator, equipment deliveries include 157 Griffon and 20 Jaguar armored vehicles for the Army, a new Multi-Mission Frigate (FREMM) for the French Navy and three new aircraft-MRTT Phénix for the French Air and Space Army.
The Senate adopted the bill which provides a budget hike of 4.5% compared to the 2020 budget. In 2021, the army's budget is increased to 39.2 billion euros, 1.7 billion euros more than in 2020.
The main thrusts of this budget are the ramp-up of major facilities, support for the French economy and the dynamism of the regions, and an investment effort in terms of innovation, recruitment and the Family plan, Parly said.
Minister Parly was quoted as saying in a MoD release, "the 2021 defense budget assignment for the third consecutive year, followed the commitments and financial trajectory of the Military Program Law (LPM) 2019-2025.”
The (FCAS- French acronym SCAF) a French-German-Spanish project, received the go-ahead to commence the demonstrator phase in February this year. On February 12 the French and German governments awarded an initial framework contract to Dassault (France) and Airbus (German), besides major system partners MTU Aero Engines, Safran, MBDA, and Thales.