Indra, a Spanish company coordinating the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), has joined hands with German-based FCMS and French-based Thales to initiate the next design phase of asuite of networked and distributed sensors, defensive aids, and attack systems.

France, Germany, and Spain, as participating nations in FCAS, have entrusted Indra as prime, along with FCMS and Thales as main partners, to develop the suite of sensors that will equip the New Generation Fighter (NGF) and Remote Carriers (RC) platforms.

The initiative aims to consolidate the definition and architecture of the suite of networked sensors and critical components/building blocks of the RF and optronics sensors for the NGF and different types of RCs.

In 2020, FMCS, Indra, and Thales were chosen to develop the suite of sensors for FCAS.

With a collaborative system architecture and services, the NSDAD suite will boost sensor contribution, situational awareness, firepower, and survivability. The kick-off of Phase 1B activities represents a milestone in FCMS, Indra, and Thales’ joint commitment to developing the innovative NSDAD vision for the future NGWS.

The development phase will start in 2028, supporting the NGWS initial operational capability (IOC) in 2040.

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Indra bolstered its participation in the European Defence Programme (New Generation Weapon System/Future Combat Air System) by formally joining the project in the execution of the Joint Concept Study, launched by France and Germany in February 2019. 

Indra signed a contractual amendment that positions the company as a contractor of the Joint Concept Study, along with the national coordinators of France (Dassault) and Germany (Airbus).

Dassault, Airbus, and partners won the Phase 1A contract for FCAS. A consortium of Dassault Aviation, Airbus, and other partners received the initial framework contract (Phase 1A) for developing a next-generation combat jet. The NGF is the core element of the FCAS.

Coincidentally, the UK, Japan, and Italy are all collaborating on their next-generation fighter jet with their Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP). The FCAS face stiff competition from GCAP as a subtle race begins, with the military triads working hard to procure the better of the next-generation fighter jets.