Bundestag approves a new step for the Future Combat Air System

According to a tweet published by the French Minister of Defence, Florence Parly, on June 23, 2021, the Bundestag (German Parliament) has just approved a crucial step for the construction of the FCAS and the future European fighter aircraft. It will be operational in 2040.

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Bundestag approve a new step for the Future Combat Air System Model on the New Generation Fighter NGF at Le Bourget (Picture source: Wikipedia)

The Future Combat Air System (FCAS or SCAF in French) is a European combat system of systems under development by Airbus, Thales Group, Indra Sistemas and Dassault Aviation. The FCAS will consist of a Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS) as well as other air assets in the future operational battlespace.

The NGWS's components will be remote carrier vehicles (swarming drones) as well as a New Generation Fighter (NGF) - a sixth-generation jet fighter that by around 2035–2040 will replace current France's Rafales, Germany's Typhoons and Spain's EF-18 Hornets.

A test flight of a demonstrator is expected around 2025 and entry into service around 2040.

Dassault will serve as prime contractor for the NGF, while Airbus will lead the development of accompanying remote carrier vehicles and the broader system's supporting combat cloud. It will also be carrier-capable and will fly from the French Navy's future aircraft carrier.

Safran Aircraft Engines will be the prime contractor for the next-generation fighter aircraft engine, taking the lead in engine design and integration, while MTU Aero Engines, as the main partner for the first phase of research and technology, will take the lead in engine services.

Each country has designated a national industrial coordinator, Airbus for Germany, Indra for Spain and Dassault for France.