Airbus and Thales have partnered to develop the Air Combat Cloud for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

The agreement has been signed after the Phase 1A Demonstrators contract for the FCAS was awarded. It supports the Demonstrator Phase 1A’s Air Combat Cloud pillar.

Airbus and Thales will work closely on the structural design of the Air Combat Cloud.

The first phase of technology demonstrations of air combat Cloud capabilities will also be performed by the companies together.

It will be designed first in the Franco-German FCAS cooperation frame and will be extended to support collaborative air operations at national and multinational levels.

Increasing collaborative combat capabilities at a European level will be based on the decision taken by member countries.

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Air Combat Cloud is expected to improve situational awareness and collaborative operations as it can allow all the platforms to connect and synchronise in real-time within FCAS.

In addition, it will support information processing and distribution.

Thales said: “Airbus and Thales are convinced that, by combining both companies’ capabilities with the wider French and German defence industry, both partners will actively contribute to shaping future European airpower, the key to securing Europe’s operational, technological and industrial sovereignty for the coming decades.”

Airbus will bring its expertise in combat and mission aircraft, digitalised command and control, communication, cybersecurity, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and space systems to the partnership.

Thales will use its expertise in digital security, space and aerospace systems, as well as defence equipment and solutions.