Dassault Aviation is set to partner with Airbus for the development and production of Europe’s future combat air system (FCAS).
The combat air system will be developed to replace the current generation of the Eurofighter jets and the Rafale fighter aircraft between 2035 and 2040.
FCAS is a system of systems that combines a wide range of elements connected and operating together, including a latest and advanced fighter aircraft together with medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the existing fleet of aircraft, future cruise missiles and drones flying in swarms.
However, the existing fleet of the European aircraft will continue to operate beyond 2040.
The entire system will be interoperable and connected in a larger perimeter with mission aircraft, satellites, Nato systems, as well as land and naval combat systems.
Dassault Aviation chairman and chief executive officer Eric Trappier said: “We are convinced that by deploying our joint expertise, Dassault Aviation and Airbus can best meet the operational requirements of the forces in the development of this critically important European programme.
“Both companies fully intend to work together in the most pragmatic and efficient manner.
“Our joint roadmap will include proposals to develop demonstrators for the FCAS programme as of 2025.
“I am convinced that European sovereignty and strategic autonomy can and will only be ensured through independent European solutions.
“The vision that France and Germany have set forth with FCAS is a bold one and it’s an important signal in, and for, Europe.
“The FCAS programme will strengthen the political and military ties between Europe’s core nations and it will reinvigorate its aerospace industry.”