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Partner governments reaffirm commitment to NGWS element of FCAS/SCAF

Remote Carrier ‘loyal wingmen' will comprise the Next-Generation Weapon System element of FCAS/SCAF alongside the New Generation Fighter and Air Combat Cloud. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The partner governments have reaffirmed their joint commitment to developing the Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS) element of the wider Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien du Futur (SCAF) programme.

The defence ministries of France, Germany, and Spain restated their collective support for the NGWS currently under contract, which comprises the New Generation Fighter (NGF), Remote Carrier (RC) ‘loyal wingmen', and the Air Combat Cloud (ACC) networking system.

A joint statement issued to mark the first meeting of French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu and German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius noted the importance of the programme to support and develop European industrial capability and sovereignty. A statement put out at the same time by the Spanish Ministry of Defence referred to the project being “at the heart of 21st-century European air combat systems”.

The political reaffirmation came a month after the three countries approved Phase 1B funding for the programme, clearing the path for Dassault, Airbus, Indra, and the European Military Engine Team (Eumet) of Safran, MTU Aero, and ITP Aero to undertake demonstrator work. With Phase 1B concerned with developing a flying demonstrator, Phase 2 covers the actual manufacture of the demonstrator in time for its now 2029 first flight (previously, it had been set for 2027).

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