French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly and her German counterpart, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, announced the launch of the joint concept study (JCS) for the Franco-German Future Combat Air System (FCAS) at Safran Aircraft Engines in the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers on 6 February.
The EUR65 million (USD74 million) JCS contract was awarded to Dassault and Airbus to conceptualise the different FCAS capabilities. In a joint press release published on 6 February, the two companies said the two-year study would begin on 20 February and last two years, identifying the preferred baseline concepts for the FCAS Next Generation Fighter (NGF), remote carrier (RC) unmanned systems, and a system of systems and associated next-generation services.
The JCS is based on the agreed Franco-German High Level Common Operational Requirements Document signed by the two countries' defence ministers at the ILA Berlin Air Show 2018 last April, as well as French and German national concept studies.
Dassault and Airbus said the study would pave the way for the future design, industrialisation, and full operational capability of FCAS, planned by 2040. The study will prepare and initiate demonstrator programmes for launch at the Paris Air Show in June 2019, the companies added.
The French and German defence ministers also announced an industrial co-operation agreement between Safran and MTU Aero Engines. This is expected to be followed by a contract for an FCAS engine demonstrator in mid-2019.
In a joint press release published on 6 February, the two companies said Safran would take the lead in engine design and integration and MTU the lead in engine services. The German engine maker will be in charge of the low- and high-pressure compressors and the low-pressure turbine, and Safran for the combustor, high-pressure turbine, and afterburner.
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