20 february 2020 – Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Minister of Defense of the Federal Republic of Germany and Ángel Olivares Ramírez, Secretary of State to Margarita Robles, Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Spain, have signed today the combat aircraft demonstrator contract, an essential component of the FCAS (Future Combat Air System).
The first test flights of this demonstrator are scheduled for 2026. This will be a major step forward for a historic European defense cooperation project.
For the past two years, France and Germany, and more recently Spain, have had an ambitious goal: to equip their respective armed forces with a new generation air combat system. A combat system that includes a combat aircraft, accompanying drones, and a combat cloud, “the system of systems” that allows them to be connected and interact.
This project is a cooperation evenly distributed between each party. France welcomes the decision of the Bundestag last week which allows to progress towards the construction of a demonstrator of the combat aircraft which will be at the heart of FCAS, with first flight tests in 2026: a strong signal for the European Defense.
FCAS is the result of the expression of a common military requirement. An operational imperative for air combat in the second half of the 21st century, it will allow France to maintain its military rank and fulfill its strategic ambitions. This European aircraft of the future will also be a powerful lever for the integration of European air forces.
Unofficial translation by EDR On-Line
Pictorial courtesy French MoD