The cornerstone of FCAS is the next-generation weapon system where next-generation fighters team up with remote carriers as force multipliers. Additionally, manned and unmanned platforms also will provide their uniqueness to the collective capabilities while being fully interoperable with allied forces across domains from land to cyber. The air combat cloud will enable the leveraging of networked capabilities of all pooled platforms.
Since its inception, Airbus has lived the “working together” principle. It is the only player that combines European DNA, industry achievements and presence to make FCAS a success.
As a German and Spanish champion and a strong player in France and the UK, Airbus is uniquely positioned as a European company to drive FCAS with its partners. The company also has a strong history of guaranteeing French military sovereignty and working as a reliable partner with the French armed forces.
Airbus Defence and Space and Dassault Aviation announced their intention in 2018 to work together in developing the Future Combat Air System.
In early 2019, France and Germany awarded the first contract – a two-year Joint Concept Study (JCS) – to Airbus and Dassault Aviation. At mid-year, Dassault Aviation and Airbus delivered a joint industrial proposal to the governments of France and Germany for FCAS’s first Demonstrator Phase – with full-scale models the new-generation fighter and remote carriers were revealed at the Paris Air Show in June. During the air show, Airbus also announced plans to closely cooperate with innovative technology players like start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and research institutes especially in the software domain to unlock new ideas, technologies and research for FCAS.
In 2018, Airbus successfully performed manned-unmanned teaming (MUT) test flight campaigns, confirming the company’s expertise in controlling remote carriers from a manned aircraft. These test campaigns included demonstrations with five Airbus-built Do-DT25 target drones controlled from a mission group commander airborne in a manned command and control aircraft.
Also in 2018 – with support from French and Canadian space agencies – Airbus successfully tested its LTE AirNode technology, a key part of the company’s secure networked military communications programme, Network for the Sky (NFTS) – which is fully aligned with the development of the required FCAS connected capabilities.
More on FCAS