Sensor solutions provider Hensoldt has received a contract to support the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme, a joint effort between France, Germany and Spain.

With an estimated value of approximately €100m, the contract has been awarded by the French Defence Procurement Agency.

It requires Hensoldt, which is also a member of the German Future Combat Mission System (FCMS) consortium, to develop and deliver various essential core elements of the sensor network for future combat aircraft.

The company will work to develop demonstrators of optronics, radar, reconnaissance and self-protection electronics, as well as the networking of sensor technology.

Hensoldt Spectrum Dominance business unit head Christoph Ruffner said: “The next-generation air combat system requires an intelligent approach to a platform-independent, networked mission system, high-end sensors and AI-based data evaluation.

“This is where Hensoldt will make the essential contribution with the FCMS consortium.”

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The FCAS programme aims to develop a sixth-generation combat aircraft that can replace the existing fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and Rafale fighter aircraft.

The programme was joined by Spain in 2019 with the signing of a framework agreement with France and Germany.

The three countries have since been making efforts to build a successor system of networked sensors to support future battles.

Hensoldt said various technology demonstrators will be available by 2025 to assess, determine and validate the possibility of developing a platform-independent networked solution.

Once developed, the sensor network will then undergo different FCAS demonstrator phases for further development.

The programme is being supported by a team of industry partners from each participating nation.

It includes Spanish company Indra, Thales from France, and Germany’s FCMS consortium, comprising Hensoldt, Diehl Defence, ESG Elektroniksystem-und Logistik and Rohde & Schwarz.