Europe’s $100 billion FCAS stealth fighter is plagued by major issues.

The FCAS stealth fighter project is in danger of failing because of the intense conflict among the project participants over who will assume which responsibilities.

The Future Combat Air System program, which will give them a new set of “air weapons” including FCAS and drones, is currently being worked on by three European nations, including France, Germany, and Spain. It’s important to note that even though the R&D programme is now working on the next stage, On November 18, 2022, Madrid and Berlin made a special “political” announcement regarding the changeover to the FCAS program’s Phase 1B. The political agreement on FCAS is a significant step forward and demonstrates the cooperation between France, Germany, and Spain, according to identical statements made by the Spanish and German military ministries.

Similar remarks were made on November 18, 2022 by two defence companies, Airbus Defense and Space and Indra, who were speaking on behalf of Germany and Spain, respectively. They noted the success of the push program’s promotion. Although no official announcements regarding the aforementioned “political agreement” have been made by either the Paris official or the French representative from Dassault Aviation in general. Also confirming that the cooperation agreement between Dassault and Airbus has not yet been formally signed is Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault on November 21, 2022.

Additionally, Mr. Trappier referred to the agreement between Germany and Spain as a “false political statement” that they made as a result of information about Germany’s acceptance of the project being leaked, in a speech on French television. Mr. Trappier responded simply, “We’ll see,” when asked if a comprehensive partnership agreement would be signed this week.

In 2017, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron announced the Future Combat Air System programme. Spain joined in 2019 after that. The Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon will be replaced by a sixth-generation fighter, according to the programme. This will be a single-engine fighter with integrated sensors, an advanced battle network, and self-propulsion capabilities. Over 100 billion USD are thought to have been spent on the project in its entirety. The program’s research-focused Phase A1 was expected to be finished by the beginning of 2021, however a disagreement over the assignment of project duties delayed the start of Phase 1B to the present day.

According to Mr. Trappier, the main reason for the launch phase’s delay was Dassault’s desire to serve as the primary contractor for the next-generation fighter, one of the FCAS’s essential components. While this is going on, Airbus wants to be “a major partner, not just a supplier.” At the same time, Mr. Trappier feels that Dassault should be the NGF’s “undisputed leader.” There is a “clear path” to continue the FCAS program, according to a statement from the Spanish Ministry of Defense to the News agency dated November 21, 2022.

After all, the delay has resulted in the possibility that the prototype aircraft’s launch, currently scheduled for 2027, will be postponed by at least two years. The possibility of distinct and independent developing countries has been discussed, even if the dispute is not settled.

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