Contract signed for combat aircraft demonstrator

European defence – Future Combat Air System: demonstrator launch – Communiqué issued by the Ministry for the Armed Forces

Paris, 20 February 2020

Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Germany’s Defence Minister, and Ángel Olivares Ramírez, Secretary of State attached to Margarita Robles, Spain’s Defence Minister, today signed the contract for the combat aircraft demonstrator, an essential component of the FCAS (Future Combat Air System).

The demonstrator’s first test flights are scheduled for 2026. This will be a major step forward for a historic European defence cooperation project.

For the past two years, France and Germany, and more recently Spain, have had an ambitious goal: to equip their respective air forces with a new-generation combat air system that includes a combat aircraft, its accompanying drones and a combat cloud – “the system of systems” – enabling them to be connected and interact.

This is a cooperative project equally shared between each party. France welcomes the Bundestag’s decision last week enabling progress towards building a combat aircraft demonstrator that will be central to the FCAS, with a view to initial flight tests in 2026: a strong signal for Defence Europe.

The FCAS is the result of a shared military need being expressed. An operational imperative for air combat in the second half of the 21st century, it will allow France to maintain its military place in the world and fulfil its strategic ambitions. This European aircraft of the future will also be a powerful lever for the integration of European air forces./.

Published on 25/02/2020

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