Airbus and Dassault have called on the German and French governments to commit to additional funding and the launch of the demonstrator phase for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) programme.
In a joint statement issued on 7 October both companies proclaimed their desire to achieve speedy, concrete progress on the project, saying that a high-level ministerial meeting to be held between Germany and France later in the month should provide a spur to achieving this.
"The upcoming Franco-German ministerial council meeting should serve as a catalyst for this joint desire to move forward by rapidly launching this demonstrator phase and committing the partner nations to a reliable funding plan to confirm the sustainable and coherent nature of this European development programme," the statement read.
Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, and Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, added; "We call on our political leaders to make every effort to launch these demonstrators at the earliest opportunity in what will be a key step in moving this ambitious project forward."
As noted by the companies in their statement, a Franco-German industrial organisation has been defined under the respective national leadership of Dassault Aviation and Airbus (France is to lead development of the New Generation Fighter [NGF], with Germany leading the wider FCAS). A Franco-German Joint Concept Study (JCS) was launched in January 2019 to define the main features of the system.
"Airbus and Dassault Aviation wish to underline how quickly both companies had jointly concluded agreements and prepared themselves to move forward," the statement read, adding, "However, future technologies need to be developed now for subsequent flight testing and qualification. This maturation phase is essential to de-risk and anticipate developments of such complexity.
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