The defense minister of France, Germany and Spain signed an implementation agreement of the NGWS / FCAS (Next Generation Weapon System within a Future Combat Air System) program, regulating the latter's activities over the period 2021 and 2027.
The signing of this agreement confirms the commitment of Germany, Spain and France to the development of a new generation combat aviation capable of facing future threats and challenges along with maintaining a dynamic European defense industrial and technological base.
Following the efforts since 2019 the first flight demonstration is expected in 2027.
During the meeting the three ministers also expressed their concern about the situation in Afghanistan. They converged on the need to strengthen cooperation between Europeans, including in the fight against armed terrorist groups.
The Future Combat Air System (French: Système de combat aérien du future or SCAF; Spanish: Futuro Sistema Aéreo de Combate or FSAC) is a European combat system of systems under development by Airbus, Thales Group, Indra Sistemas and Dassault Aviation. The FCAS will consist of a NGWS as well as other air assets in the future operational battlespace. The NGWS's components will be remote carrier vehicles (swarming drones) as well as a New Generation Fighter (NGF) - a sixth-generation jet fighter that by around 2035–2040 will replace current France's Rafales, Germany's Typhoons and Spain's EF-18 Hornets.