France and Germany could develop a future European fighter jet to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale.
The fighter program could expand from the current Anglo-French combat drone program. "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 has said.
Currently technology building-blocks are made. and the unmanned combat air system (UCAS) is one of the building blocks of a Future Combat Air System which could include a manned fighter as well,” Trappier said during the course of a press conference today to announce his company’s half-yearly results.
“For the long-term, we welcome France and Germany becoming the locomotive for the development of a new manned fighter, and to my knowledge without excluding the United Kingdom,” Trappier said.
However, with the UK’s leaving the European Union, and also its being a partner and buyer of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter "could complicate matters," he added.
"We see no issue to Germany joining the UCAV program from the industry perspective and to the UK joining the manned fighter project, but “we must remain effective and competitive; what we need is stability.” Trappier asserted.
Other partners could also join, as well, as long as management authority is clearly defined.
“The French and German governments are saying that the time will come to replace the Eurofighter, and the time will come to replace the Rafale. we have to see whether the schedules are the same, and if they are, then France and Germany could decide to develop a new combat aircraft for the long term,” Trapper said.