Future Combat Air System (FCAS) - France/Germany

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
10,006
7,643
India
The drama surrounding this is funny.

Airbus understands that they are useless without the French. The French are threatening to go it alone while the Germans are threatening to choose the F-35 instead of the SH. And Airbus wants an FCAS agreement signed by June before the German elections 'cause there's a chance of the opposition backing out of FCAS anyway if they win.


Airbus executives said they see no viable “Plan B” for the embattled Future Combat Air System, as Eric Trappier, the CEO of fellow prime contractor Dassault, suggested earlier this month.

Antoine Bouvier, the head of Airbus strategy, mergers and public affairs, and Dirk Hoke, CEO of the aerospace giant’s defense division, testified before the French Senate’s foreign affairs committee on March 17 in an effort calm tensions boiling in the trinational program, known as FCAS (or SCAF in French).

Airbus and Dassault are the two main contractors for the program, with work shares to be equally divided between partner nations France, Germany and Spain. The participants had envisioned kicking off the next project stage, dubbed Phase 1B, by this summer. But new disagreements over governance procedures and the sharing of industry secrets have put the program’s future in question.

The two Airbus executives sought to pin the program’s success to the broader vision of a more independent Europe. Failure would mean the Americans can swoop in and sell their F-35 aircraft to a continent in need of its own advanced warplane industry, Bouvier argued.

“There is is no ‘Plan B,’ ” he said, referring to the suggestion that Dassault’s CEO made before the same committee a week prior.
The Dassault boss lamented that the division of labor following Spain’s inclusion would make his job as the main risk taker on the program’s central element, the Next-Generation Fighter, near impossible. In addition, Airbus was on track to become too dominant a player, given that the company also has roots in Spain and Germany, he argued.

Bouvier sought to dispel the idea of Dassault getting outplayed, noting that Airbus teaming arrangements include other French industry heavyweights such as Thales and MBDA. Airbus is firmly entrenched in the business of French defense, he said, suggesting the company should not be viewed as leaning too German when it comes to FCAS.

The bias on both sides goes something like this, according to Bouvier: Some Germans think the French want to build a French airplane with German money, while some French think the Germans want to steal trade secrets and build a weapon of their own.

The “invective and polemic” surrounding the program — French business newspaper La Tribune had recently trashed Germany’s FCAS motives in a series of articles — was beginning to “pollute” the debate, Bouvier warned.

Speaking in French during the in-person committee meeting in Paris, Hoke said Airbus made a new offer for Dassault to retain four of six strategic work packages. In addition, negotiations were ongoing about contract language for Phase 1B to preserve companies‘ unique know-how in critical domains.

“That is easier said than done,” Hoke said.

A speedily inked deal is critical so Germany’s parliament has time to study and approve it before the summer recess in late June, Hoke said. Timing and the political context in Germany is the reason why Airbus has largely kept quiet about the FCAS kerfuffle, he added, as there is no telling how the issue would fare if dragged into Germany’s election season.
 

A Person

Well-Known member
Dec 1, 2017
738
739
A Place
I really hope this thing dies. The Germans have done everything they could to ensure it can only be a financial, technical, and operational failure, and the Spanish haven't been much better.

The Germans are gonna buy the F-35 in the end anyway. After the F/A-18 are delivered, Washington will deny integration of the B61-12 on it, so the Germans will be forced to acquire the F-35 to uphold their NATO duty. This is incredibly obvious.
 

Bon Plan

Well-Known member
Dec 1, 2017
1,842
828
France
The drama surrounding this is funny.

Airbus understands that they are useless without the French. The French are threatening to go it alone while the Germans are threatening to choose the F-35 instead of the SH. And Airbus wants an FCAS agreement signed by June before the German elections 'cause there's a chance of the opposition backing out of FCAS anyway if they win.


Airbus executives said they see no viable “Plan B” for the embattled Future Combat Air System, as Eric Trappier, the CEO of fellow prime contractor Dassault, suggested earlier this month.

Antoine Bouvier, the head of Airbus strategy, mergers and public affairs, and Dirk Hoke, CEO of the aerospace giant’s defense division, testified before the French Senate’s foreign affairs committee on March 17 in an effort calm tensions boiling in the trinational program, known as FCAS (or SCAF in French).

Airbus and Dassault are the two main contractors for the program, with work shares to be equally divided between partner nations France, Germany and Spain. The participants had envisioned kicking off the next project stage, dubbed Phase 1B, by this summer. But new disagreements over governance procedures and the sharing of industry secrets have put the program’s future in question.

The two Airbus executives sought to pin the program’s success to the broader vision of a more independent Europe. Failure would mean the Americans can swoop in and sell their F-35 aircraft to a continent in need of its own advanced warplane industry, Bouvier argued.

“There is is no ‘Plan B,’ ” he said, referring to the suggestion that Dassault’s CEO made before the same committee a week prior.
The Dassault boss lamented that the division of labor following Spain’s inclusion would make his job as the main risk taker on the program’s central element, the Next-Generation Fighter, near impossible. In addition, Airbus was on track to become too dominant a player, given that the company also has roots in Spain and Germany, he argued.

Bouvier sought to dispel the idea of Dassault getting outplayed, noting that Airbus teaming arrangements include other French industry heavyweights such as Thales and MBDA. Airbus is firmly entrenched in the business of French defense, he said, suggesting the company should not be viewed as leaning too German when it comes to FCAS.

The bias on both sides goes something like this, according to Bouvier: Some Germans think the French want to build a French airplane with German money, while some French think the Germans want to steal trade secrets and build a weapon of their own.

The “invective and polemic” surrounding the program — French business newspaper La Tribune had recently trashed Germany’s FCAS motives in a series of articles — was beginning to “pollute” the debate, Bouvier warned.

Speaking in French during the in-person committee meeting in Paris, Hoke said Airbus made a new offer for Dassault to retain four of six strategic work packages. In addition, negotiations were ongoing about contract language for Phase 1B to preserve companies‘ unique know-how in critical domains.

“That is easier said than done,” Hoke said.

A speedily inked deal is critical so Germany’s parliament has time to study and approve it before the summer recess in late June, Hoke said. Timing and the political context in Germany is the reason why Airbus has largely kept quiet about the FCAS kerfuffle, he added, as there is no telling how the issue would fare if dragged into Germany’s election season.
France has the advantage on this project : even if the germans leave during the R&D phase, now or in 5 years, the job made will be usefull for a 100% french project or another combo (Fr + Sp, Fr + India, ...)
France is the sole west european country to have the skill to built alone a full jet fighter, from the engine to the electronic system. Second one is GB, maybe, but the last combat jet 100% GB is the Hawk trainer... quite old and low end project (and successfull !).
Our problem was not a techical one, but a financial one. Money is quite free these last times with covid, so no more a problem.
I really hope this thing dies. The Germans have done everything they could to ensure it can only be a financial, technical, and operational failure, and the Spanish haven't been much better.

The Germans are gonna buy the F-35 in the end anyway. After the F/A-18 are delivered, Washington will deny integration of the B61-12 on it, so the Germans will be forced to acquire the F-35 to uphold their NATO duty. This is incredibly obvious.
Germany can also choose not to deliver the nuc bomb. After all with the US only key on it, it's not so important. Just posture.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
10,006
7,643
India
I really hope this thing dies. The Germans have done everything they could to ensure it can only be a financial, technical, and operational failure, and the Spanish haven't been much better.

It doesn't look like Dassault & co and the French govt are on the same page though.

I'm actually hoping the FCAS branches off into two programs, like the FREMM, with the Germans and Spanish working on their own with the French-designed airframe and engine.

The Germans are gonna buy the F-35 in the end anyway. After the F/A-18 are delivered, Washington will deny integration of the B61-12 on it, so the Germans will be forced to acquire the F-35 to uphold their NATO duty. This is incredibly obvious.

Yep. Once the SH is operational, there will be a "sudden" realisation that the jet cannot penetrate advanced air defences.