Airbus and Dassault compromise for Europe’s next-generation fighter jet prototype

Airbus and French Dassault seem to have agreed on the fighter jet prototype planned to be produced as part of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) project.

An agreement has been reached for the prototype of the Next Generation Air Combat Air System (FCAS) project, which is expected to be Europe’s joint fighter jet and will replace the Eurofighter and Rafale fighter planes by 2040. The production of manned and unmanned aerial platforms is envisaged within the scope of the project.

The project, which has been postponed for a long time due to the problems between the countries that will undertake the production and the companies consisting of Airbus and French Dassault, will thus be mobilized again. The project, whose announcement was made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time under the partnership of the trio of Germany, France and Spain, did not progress due to political differences between countries and disputes between companies.

Stating that the leaders of the member states need to find a way out to solve the intellectual property problems that are at the center of the intercompany disputes, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier said that he is ready for a large-scale business sharing with Airbus for the FCAS project and stated that they have a B plan if the negotiations fail. .

The statements made by the Airbus wing indicate that the company is seen as a subcontractor rather than a real partner. Experts believe Dassault’s attitude is due to his expertise in proven combat aircraft such as Mirage and Rafale. The concern that the company’s expertise in fighter jets could be used by a competitor for its own benefit seems to have made Dassault somewhat persistent in this sense.

In the FCAS program, Dassault is currently working on an invisible fighter jet with delta wing design, while Airbus is working on an ultra-fast communication network system called a drone combat cloud system that will enable artificial intelligence applications. The names of French Safran, German MTU Aero and Rolls Royce’s Spanish partner ITP are mentioned in the scope of the engine supply of the warplane.

Experts warn the relevant companies and countries for the project, which is expected to be implemented by 2040. Foreseeing an investment of 50 to 80 billion euros for fighter jets, drones and network systems, the authorities warn that costs may increase if it is late. In addition, the Tempest fighter jet program, developed under the leadership of British BAE Systems, is an important competitor for FCAS. Britain, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands have established partnerships for Tempest.

Note that the FCAS project is not yet supported by any other European country except Germany, France and Spain.

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