European Future Air Combat System Project to be launched in Three Years

  • Bureau
  • 06:16 PM, October 3, 2022
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European Future Air Combat System Project to be launched in Three Years
Sébastien Lecornu, French Minister for the Armed Forces with his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht in September 2022 @French MoD2

The Franco-German ambitious project to build a Future Combat Air System (FCAS) will be launched in three years.

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 Next Generation Weapon System (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.

During his first visit to Berlin in late September, France’s defense minister Sébastien Lecornu told his German counterpart, Christine Lambrecht that the two countries will “go all the way with the Air Combat System of the future (SCAF)” project.

Companies involved in the project are currently finalizing technical specifications to start work for the next 3 years, as per French defense ministry.

The two ministers declared to the press on Sept. 22 that the manufacturers will soon finalize technical specifications – the Statement of Work (SOW) – to specify the tasks provided for under the FCAS contract. “This will make it possible to launch the work for the next three years,” Lecornu said.

The project was started in 2017 by France and Germany. Spain joined the consortium in 2019. The project aims to develop a set of interconnected weapon systems with a new generation combat aircraft at its heart. The aircraft is expected to interact with drones and be able to mobilize multiple air, naval, land or space capabilities, thanks to Artificial Intelligence and a combat cloud.

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