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Système de Combat Aérien Futur

Dassault Aviation and Airbus decided April 25, 2018 to join forces to ensure the development and production of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is to supplement and then replace the Eurofighter and Rafale currently in service, between 2035 and 2040.

This historic agreement focuses on the development and construction of a new generation European combat aircraft. It ensures the technological leadership of Europe in the military aviation sector for the next decades. The Future Air Combat System will be designed as a "system of systems" including drones, connectivity and secure communications. The next-generation fighter aircraft will complete and replace the current Eurofighter and Rafale by 2035-2040. Initiated at the end of the study, the global development contract will include demonstrators who will support the SCAF program from 2025 onwards.

This partnership, concluded in Berlin by Eric Trappier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation and Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Defense and Space, is a historic industrial agreement that will ensure the sovereignty and technological leadership of Airbus Defense and Space. Europe in the military aviation sector in the coming decades.

Éric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, said: "We are convinced that by combining their know-how, Dassault Aviation and Airbus are in the best position to meet the operational needs of the Armed Forces by developing this critical European program. Our two companies are committed to working together in a pragmatic and efficient way. Our common roadmap for the SCAF program will include proposals for the development of demonstrators from 2025. I am convinced that only independent European solutions are able to guarantee the sovereignty and strategic autonomy of Europe. The vision that France and Germany have set for themselves with SCAF is ambitious and constitutes a strong signal in Europe and for Europe. The SCAF program will strengthen political and military ties between the major European states, while boosting its aerospace industry. "

"Europe has never been so determined to preserve and promote its political and industrial autonomy and sovereignty in the field of defense. Airbus and Dassault Aviation have the necessary expertise to conduct the SCAF project. Both companies have demonstrated their ability to work together on complex programs, such as the European UAV program, a new generation of long-endurance, "said Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space. "SCAF is taking this successful cooperation to the next level and we are firmly committed to completing this ambitious mission in partnership with Dassault Aviation. In view of the tight schedule, we need to get down to work right now to work together on a common road map that will allow us to meet the requirements and meet the timelines that will be set by both states. The launch of a joint initial study by France and Germany this year is therefore an important criticism to support this effort."

Dassault Aviation and Airbus Defense and Space agree on the importance of effective industrial governance of military programs. Other European industry players in the defense sector and other states will also be able to draw on public funding and on the basis of the best contribution.

SCAF is a system of systems combining a wide range of interconnected and interoperable elements, including a new generation combat aircraft, MALE drones (medium altitude, long endurance), the existing aircraft fleet (which will still be in service after 2040), future cruise missiles and swarming drones. The complete system will be connected to a vast area of mission aircraft, satellites, NATO systems and land and naval combat systems with which it can operate.

Florian Taitsch, head of Airbus's media communications department, explained that at the current stage, no contracts have been signed, with a roadmap for the project expected to be drawn up by the end of the year. "Nevertheless, we are certain that this should be a truly European project," he emphasized. The official also voiced his confidence that other European countries may join the project at a later stage. At the moment, he noted, the project is an independent Franco-German development.

In July 2018 Sputnik confirmed with the Spanish Defense Ministry that Madrid was offered "observer" status in the project in the spring. The ministry said it was studying the proposal and considering how the country "could get involved in a project of such tremendous importance."

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