The 6th gen fighter project FCAS (Future Combat Air System) has faced a long deadlock in recent weeks due to discussions between Airbus and Dassault over the division of work in the program but, according to Reuters, they would have reached an agreement.
The FCAS program aims to replace the Rafale and Eurofighter fighters from the 2040s with a 6th gen manned and unmanned aircraft system. The future fighter will be supplied to France, Germany and Spain and they will also have important roles in their production.
However, according to the agency, Dassault Aviation, a traditional manufacturer of fighter jets, would have been reticent about giving up most of the program in favor of Airbus. Among the reasons would be intellectual property.
According to the Reuters source, Dassault would have agreed to pass on a larger share of the program’s tasks to Airbus, although it maintains a plan B in case the talks fail.
FCAS also faces competition from a similar project led by the United Kingdom and which already has partners in Italy and Sweden.
The three countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2020 for research, development and joint design of the 6th generation Tempest fighter.
However, there are calls for the two programs to be integrated in the future for economic reasons. But if accommodating the interest of some companies has been difficult, one can imagine what it would be like to bring together six different governments in such an ambitious project.
Both projects are expected to give rise to supersonic fighter jets with stealth capabilities, modular electronic systems and the use of advanced artificial intelligence, among other requirements.