Dassault provided a glimpse of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) – the aircraft viewed as a rival to the UK’s Tempest fighter jet – at the Paris Air Show.
The jet will be built by Dassault Aviation and Airbus as a potential replacement for the Eurofighter Typhoon jet and is set to take to the skies for the first time in 2026.
A mock-up of the aircraft was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in front of the watching French President, Emmanuel Macron, and defence ministers of France, Germany and Spain, who also used the opportunity to sign an accord launching a trilateral framework of co-operation.
The Aircraft is billed by Airbus as being ‘more than a combat aircraft’. A preview of the aircraft’s capabilities on the company’s website states: ‘FCAS is a system of systems consolidating a large array of interconnected and interoperable elements: a new generation fighter aircraft, unmanned MALE drones (medium-altitude, long endurance), the current aircraft fleet (which will still be in service after 2040), cruise missiles and drone swarms.
‘The entire system will be connected and operable with a vast perimeter of mission aircrafts, satellites, NATO systems as well as land and naval combat systems.’
Airbus also announced plans to closely cooperate with innovative technology players like start-ups, SMEs and research institutes especially in the software domain. By teaming up with innovative players, Airbus hopes to unlock new ideas, technologies and research for FCAS.
Bruno Fichefeux, Head of FCAS at Airbus, commented: “Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Cyber Security have become an integral part of defence and will be paramount for FCAS. By cooperating with innovative players like start-ups, research institutes and others, we can make sure that we are at the cutting edge of development and bring fresh ideas and approaches to the table. This is a great example of how much we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible for major industry projects.”
image © Airbus
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