Dassault predicts decade of delay for FCAS fighter

by Gareth Jennings

An artist's impression of the New Generation Fighter that will sit at the heart of the FCAS/SCAF system of systems. Scheduled to enter service in 2040, the aircraft could be delayed by as much as a decade according to the CEO of its primary designer, Dassault. (Dassault)

Dassault, one of the three primary industrial partners on the trinational Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF), has said that continuing delays to agreeing terms will delay the entry into service of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) element of the programme by at least a decade.

Under the current published timeline, the first flight of the NGF demonstrator was scheduled for 2027, with the final proposed design frozen in 2030 ahead of a proposed in-service date of 2040. Speaking to French media, however, Dassault CEO Éric Trappier said that the current planned in-service date is no longer tenable, with 2050 being a more realistic timeline.

“2040 is already lost because we do not start yet,” Trappier told the BFM TV news channel on 6 June, adding, “So we are left rather for the 2050s.” Dassault's German partner Airbus told Janes


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UK seeks new GEO satellite for Skynet

by Olivia Savage

Skynet 6A (pictured above), scheduled to be launched in 2025, will fill a capability gap while the MoD sets the requirements for the Skynet Enduring Capability. (Airbus)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking a Narrowband Satellite System (NSS) for the Skynet Enduring Capability (SKEC).

A Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ), published by the MoD on 10 August, outlined a requirement for a narrowband ultra-high frequency (UHF) geosynchronous (GEO) satellite and its control system for SKEC.

A deadline for expressions of interest has been set for 20 September. The satellite must also meet NATO STANAG 4681 Ed 2 and/or MIL-STD-188-100 standards.

The SKEC space segment comprises two separate procurements, the first of which involves the acquisition of a GEO NSS. The second one seeks multiple medium-sized GEO satellites with X and Mil Ka-band payloads, which will help meet a wideband requirement, the MoD detailed.

It is expected that SKEC will provide the MoD with a next-generation satellite communications (satcom) capability. It is anticipated that the satellites will be in service until at least 2040, the MoD disclosed. The MoD also hopes to have the capability to monitor and control the platforms.


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UK launches next phase of UAS Heavy Lift challenge

by Olivia Savage

The Royal Navy trialling Windracers Autonomous Systems' Ultra fixed-wing UAS (pictured) in the UASHLC. (Crown Copyright 2022)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched Phase 2 of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Heavy Lift Capability (UASHLC) challenge.

According to the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) published on 5 August, the MoD is seeking to “support and inform the development of maritime operating concepts and enable assessment, analysis, exploration, and evaluation of the use of UAS for beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) payload delivery and broader UAS capabilities”. The MoD is therefore seeking to accelerate the development of one or more suppliers' platforms, as well as the key technologies that will enhance UAS operational capabilities.

The closing date for suppliers to submit a PQQ is 5 September, with a contract expected to run from September 2022 to August 2027, the MoD said. Up to GBP95 million (USD116 million) is available for the programme, the MoD added.

The MoD was unable to provide further comment at the time of publication.


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Czech Republic to buy Heron UAVs from Israel

by Gareth Jennings

The Czech Republic is looking to buy three Heron 1 UAVs from Israel, with the deal expected to be concluded by the end of 2022. (IAI)

The Czech Republic is to buy three Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as part of the country's wider Concept of Capability Construction of the Army of the Czech Republic plan.

The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the plan on 8 August, saying that negotiations for the procurement are to begin with the Israeli government shortly as it plans to acquire equipment seen “as crucial in conducting aerial reconnaissance and performing other tasks for direct combat support and protection of Czech army units”.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/dassault-predicts-decade-of-delay-for-fcas-fighter

Dassault, one of the three primary industrial partners on the trinational Future Combat Air System (...

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