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Rival future fighter programmes talk up interoperability

Leaders of both the FCAS/SCAF and GCAP programmes are committed to operability between their respective solutions. (BAE Systems)

Programme leaders from the Future Combat Air System/Système de Combat Aérien du Futur (FCAS/SCAF) and Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) have promoted the need for interoperability between their rival efforts.

Sharing a stage for the first time, the chief of SCAF in the French Air and Space Force (l'Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace: AAE), Major General Jean-Luc Moritz, and UK Future Combat Air Director at the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Richard Berthon, both highlighted the fundamental importance of interoperability between the New Generation Fighter (NGF) and Tempest combat aircraft that sit at the core of the respective programmes, as well as for their unmanned ‘loyal wingman' adjuncts. For FCAS/SCAF, the combination of the NGF and ‘loyal wingman' adjuncts is known as the Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS).

“I have to dream – my dream is tomorrow that a Tempest will take control of an NGWS asset, [and] for [the US Next-Generation Air Dominance] NGAD to take control of [Tempest]. My dream is that [the current generation] Rafale and Typhoon, and [the future generation] Tempest, NGF, and NGAD will fly together on an operation,” Maj Gen Moritz said at the Royal Aeronautical Society Future Combat Air and Space Capabilities summit in London on 23 May. “To reach this dream, we need [our respective industries] to put everything on the table,” he said.

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