The governments of France, Germany and Spain announced on Monday that they had reached an agreement after discussions on the next phases of the NGWS/FCAS program, which will give rise to a new 6th gen fighter, an unmanned aerial platform and a Combat Cloud for support data to the system.
According to the statement, the New Generation Fighter (NGF) demonstration aircraft is expected to fly by 2027. For this purpose, the three countries will begin Phase 1B (aircraft development) and Phase 2, which consists of assembling the fighter prototype.
“The discussions conducted by Direction Générale de l’Armement, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung and Dirección General de Armamento during the last months allowed to achieve a balanced agreement between the different partners for the next step of the
demonstration phase of the program. The related governmental arrangements are now ready to enter the national staffing processes for formal validation”, explained the note.
The announcement ends a period of disagreements among the participants about the participation of the groups involved in the project, especially Dassault and Airbus.
“The industrial organization of the program has been set up appropriately to ensure the consistency and the efficiency of the project, leveraging the best skills of each nation industries
within a balanced, broad and deep partnership,” added the statement.
FCAS is one of the initiatives for a 6th gen fighter in Europe. It is expected to replace the French Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon operated by Germany and Spain.
However, the program competes with the project launched by the United Kingdom and which has a partnership with Sweden and Italy. Both fighters share very close concepts, which keeps the hope that the six nations can reach a broader agreement in the future in order to share the high development costs.