Dassault Aviation and Airbus have formally agreed to join forces on Europe’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is slated to complement and eventually replace the current generation of Eurofighter and Rafale fighter aircraft.
Dassault Aviation and Airbus have decided to join forces for the development and production of Europe’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is slated to complement and eventually replace current generation of Eurofighter and Rafale fighter aircraft between 2035 and 2040.
The partnership, sealed in Berlin by Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation and Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, is described as a landmark industrial agreement to secure European sovereignty and technological leadership in the military aviation sector for the coming decades.
Trappier declared that the two companies would work together “in the most pragmatic and efficient manner”. He indicated that the joint roadmap would include proposals to develop demonstrators for the FCAS programme as of 2025.
Hoke said it was of key importance that France and Germany launch an initial joint study this year.
FCAS defines a system of systems combining a wide range of elements connected and operating together, including a next-generation fighter aircraft together with Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the existing fleet of aircraft (which will still be in service beyond 2040), future cruise missiles and drones flying in swarms.
The overall system will be interoperable and connected in a larger perimeter with mission aircraft, satellites, NATO systems and land and naval combat systems.