Even though the FCAS program had started rather well — with the signing of framework agreements and the unveiling of the NGF model during the Paris Air Show — it seems the Franco-German relationship is no longer so good.
The Summer Defense Conference, that took place on September 12 and 13 at Avord Air Base, put the FCAS in the spotlight. Topical subject for several months, the project seems to take more and more delay with respect to the first calendar announced. Thus, the contract for the development of a demonstrator is still awaited by Dassault Aviation. Initially hoped for the Paris Air Show, it was then announced that the contract would probably be notified in September. But still no news. Dassault Aviation now hopes to be notified before the end of the year. Furthermore, the Ministry of the Armed Forces believes that a first FCAS architecture should be presented in the second half of 2020.
The FCAS program does not seem to go forward and the reason would come from disagreements occurring between France and Germany. “We will have difficult times, complex discussions because everyone wants to be around the table”, reports some players at the Summer Defense Conference. And before adding that “some German positions are worrying”. Indeed the divergences are numerous and could seriously threaten the FCAS if they are not quickly resolved.