French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly announced progress in negotiations with Germany related to the FCAS program.
On October 16, the French Minister of the Armed Forces announced in a tweet that the negotiations with Germany on cooperative defense projects had yielded good results. Thus, the two countries seem to have reached agreement on the export of systems, including FCAS. A real issue for the industrialists involved in these programs because they can find business opportunities and sustain their activities. “Major decision which acts mutual confidence: an agreement was concluded today between France and Germany. It allows the export of equipment from our cooperation. An essential step to calmly build an ambitious Europe of Defense”, said the Minister on Twitter.
In parallel, Florence Parly returned to the demonstration project for the NGF, new generation fighter, main brick of the future combat air system (FCAS). The contract to launch the demonstration studies should be signed in January 2020, she said. The first flight is expected to be performed in 2026. “This future combat aircraft and the drones that will accompany it will enter our forces by 2035/2040”, specified Florence Parly.
These Franco-German discussions took place during a ministerial council, organized on October 16. Advertisements that were widely expected by industry, Dassault Aviation and Airbus having thus recalled the importance of concretizing the NGF project and move quickly to keep the schedule. Remember that the announcement of a demonstrator contract was to occur at the Paris Air Show, following the submission of industrial offers, then was expected for the start of the 2019 season. Faced with the absence of an official contract, both industrialists have called on the French and German governments to continue their negotiations in order to reach an early agreement on the FCAS project. This cooperation is also linked to the main ground combat system program (MGCS) and the Eurodrone (European male drone).
“Future technologies need to be developed right now to be tested and qualified in flight. This phase of maturation is essential to discard and anticipate such complex developments. This is why government and industry have agreed to launch a demonstrator development phase as soon as possible. [...] The next Franco-German Council of Ministers must serve as a catalyst for this common desire to move forward with the rapid launch of this demonstrator phase”, called Airbus and Dassault Aviation. This desire has therefore been heard by governments and should be undertaken quickly.