Sunday, June 23, 2024

Belgium to join Europe’s FCAS next-generation fighter program in June 2025

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The European Future Combat Air System (FCAS) or SCAF project revolves around the development of next-generation fighter aircraft, remote aircraft carriers, and combat clouds. (Airbus)

BELFAST — Belfast officials say the country will become the fourth partner country to join the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/SCAF sixth generation fighter program by June 2025, after Germany, France and Spain. I made it.

Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder announced the expected timeline in a LinkedIn post last week, after the country first joined the project at the Paris Air Show in June. .

Brussels is also expected to sign the FCAS Observer Status Membership Agreement next month, Dedonder said, calling it “an important step towards global security and innovation.”

Related: FCAS? Scuff? storm?Explaining Europe’s 6th generation fighter efforts

“Developing next-generation air combat capabilities is a unique opportunity for Europe. In doing so, Belgium is committed to peace, stability and defense innovation, and together we build a secure and prosperous future for our country and our partners.”

Once Brussels joins the program as a full partner, it is expected that details of its role, both at financial and industry level, will be shared. France’s Dassault, Germany’s Airbus, and Spain’s Indra now form three leading companies in the FCAS industry, with next-generation fighter jets (NGFs), remote carrier or support aircraft, and multi-domain capable, data-rich We are working on the development of a combat cloud. Connect to your network and enable cross-platform information sharing.

Belgium’s entry into FCAS was not without controversy. A month before Brussels decided to join the effort, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier pushed back against talk of such a move, citing Brussels’ acquisition of the F-35. was against a rival proposal by the manufacturer to replace F-16 jets with Rafale jets. According to the Brussels Times website, Trappier went so far as to say he would “fight” against future decisions, including giving jobs to Belgian companies in the FCAS program.

To date, France, Germany, and Spain are evaluating four NGF designs and selecting a final design in the first quarter of 2025.

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