Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

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Defiance
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Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by Defiance »

Figured this would be a good place to put a Euro FCAS/SCAF thread rather than pigeon-hole it into a specific national thread.

In an effort to get P1A/P2 funding agreed, the German defence ministry has forwarded a request to German lawmakers for 4.5 Billion Euros ($5.3bn) to fund the effort out to 2027

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... rch-phase/
It covers a collection of research and technology-development activities, collectively dubbed phases 1B and 2, between 2021 and 2027. During that time, officials want to begin regular test flights with a demonstrator, constructed under the auspices of France’s Dassault Aviation.

The spending request comes after France “categorically rejected” an intermediate “bridging phase” in the German-Franco-Spanish program, according to the justification package forwarded by the Finance Ministry. Berlin had floated such a scenario given that the coronavirus pandemic has delayed completion of a joint concept study as well as the ongoing development, known as phase 1A.

Germany’s share in research expenditures on the program’s seven “pillars” and the development of an initial demonstrator amounts to 3.3 billion euros. In addition, Berlin is on the hook for 450 million euros to cover government-furnished equipment, which officials have previously said could include access to aircraft engines and airfield time.

Notably, the defense ministry wants to create a separate pot of 750 million euros dedicated solely to national developments. The amount is meant to ensure German industry’s “eye-level participation” vis-a-vis their counterparts from France and Spain.
Section in bold is quite telling because it provides an insight on the German perspective of the program, notably for what that fund is supposed to be for ...
Defense officials describe Germany’s envisioned national spending plan as a necessity, given that the trinational program alone would fail to yield a usable weapon for any of the partner nations. The “product-heavy” fighter development, for example, includes too little consideration for satellite communications and multi-layered sensor integration, leading Germany to set up its own developments on those areas.

The same logic underlies plans for an avionics test bed, according to the written spending request to lawmakers. “Avionics technologies are a core sub-system for further development and risk mitigation of the operational product,” officials wrote, adding that those aspects are outside the scope of the trinational program

German officials also want to offset nationally what they consider insufficient attention to the fields of electronic warfare, mission planning, weapons interfaces, and the secure distribution of sensor data, according to the document.
So that 750mn is deemed neccesary as despite all of the press about the 'combat cloud', Germany thinks the effort is currently too 'fighter heavy' and not actually considering the wider system of systems with the associated complexities.

It's a bit surprising they currently have no plans for an avoinics test bed as part of the program. It's highly likely that the plans for the demonstrator will be repackaging the current state-of-the-art fit for Rafale at the time. It'll be powered by M88s after all so can't exactly pack in more powerful avionics as easily. The fact that Germany may be providing EJ200s might suggest their previous announcements of a Typhoon-based test bed might not be entirely dead.

All of this is underpinned by needing to get the German budget agreed before June. If they do not then the summer reccess kicks in and following that we enter an election cycle which (apparently) will be a more left-leaning coalition than currently exists, it'll be interesting to see how they compare with a more right-leaning government in Paris (if the recent trends continue).

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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Defiance wrote: electronic warfare, mission planning, weapons interfaces, and the secure distribution of sensor data
Defiance wrote: that Germany may be providing EJ200s might suggest their previous announcements of a Typhoon-based test bed might not be entirely dead.
I think something about engines for the Japanese effort caught my eye in the general press over the summer? All the above listed areas taken together may lead to quite a high degree of commonality in key subsystems, the TEMPEST included... while Dassault is hanging onto the airframe development by tooth and nail. The so called unintended consequences kicking in.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by Defiance »

ArmChairCivvy wrote: I think something about engines for the Japanese effort caught my eye in the general press over the summer? All the above listed areas taken together may lead to quite a high degree of commonality in key subsystems, the TEMPEST included... while Dassault is hanging onto the airframe development by tooth and nail. The so called unintended consequences kicking in.
We can't really guess at this stage. Germany's intention to use the EJ200 is likely due to industry considerations, they might feel they don't have as much of the pie they want at the demonstrator stage. Hence why they want (or did, it's gone a bit quiet) to create a demonstrator based on Typhoon technology to complement the Rafale-based demonstrator Dassault will wheel out.

Dassault is using M88s for their demo, we're unsure how the final engine configuration will emerge but i'm sure Snecma are well aware how integral RR are to the EJ200. I suspect they'll manage to twist some arms to avoid the need to bring RR in for some elements.

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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by TheLoneRanger »

The request to German lawmakers is one of now ever increasing number of nails in the coffin of what will be the FCAS programme - there seems to be different objectives and vision of what the product is meant to look like. Not good at all.

Add in the usual French antics and tactics over the ownership of both manufacturing and IP of the products - you always end up with a toxic combination as the Aussies found out.

This is starting to feel like an early repeat of the Eurofighter fighter when France got the IP it needed to go and then went on to build the Rafale on its own.

The Germans need to make a decision soon - carry on with the French or do their own thing..

Thankfully the UK is now out of this mess (and hopefully stays away from the FCAS mess and away from both Germany and France ...).

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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by Defiance »

Copied over from the Tempest thread
motiv wrote: 09 Jan 2022, 10:55 Not sure if this is relevant here, but the Germans may be considering the F35 again. Not sure how this would affect the FCAS?
The challenge for the Luftwaffe is that a development of Typhoon or F/A-18 will not be a reliable delivery mechanism for B-61 in a future threat environment despite what the manufacturers claim. As a result you can bet the Luftwaffe and the German Government don't want to spend billions of euros on something that doesn't meet the requirement just to keep the French happy.

It's different for France, they want something stealthy enough to be able to pop off ASMP at stand-off distances. If you want to drop gravity bombs probably inside enemy territory then the survivability case is that much more challenging and Typhoon/F/A-18 won't be able to cope.

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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by Defiance »

Janes is now reporting the Luftwaffe/F-35 issue that's been rising

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... N2pwPIxkzg

The extended article outlines that there's a few reasons why F-35 hasn't been written off yet, remembering the preferred solution of Typhoon/F/A-18 wasn't a formal selection and no contracts were signed. Project Quadriga (38 Tr4 Typhoon) was signed in Nov 2020.

1) Public confirmation of Spain looking at F-35 may give Germany confidence they aren't bound to ignore F-35 in deference to FCAS
2) F-35 has a future out to 2060 and, through wins in Swizerland and Finland, shows it is a competitive aircraft. F/A-18's future isn't as stable
3) Germany would have to pay for B-61 on F/A-18, with F-35 this will be coming in 2025 regardless

Lambrecht's original reported statement apparently does open up the door to Typhoon ECR as well, which would make industrial sense in either trying to gain advantage in FCAS negotiations or to offset a perceived lack of ECR work through FCAS. But what this would be is a significant amount of money being spent on brand new Typhoon acquisition, F-35 or F/A-18 acquisition, FCAS development and Typhoon ECR development.

It remains to be seen if ambitions will be backed up with $$$
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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by SW1 »

American insistence on only an American plane will do, may push Germany out of the nuclear game all together..

https://amp.ft.com/content/095d4c62-f21 ... 26e0f5b42b

There were two reasons for France’s defence industry to celebrate when the United Arab Emirates agreed to buy 80 Rafale fighters from Dassault Aviation last month.

First, it was sweet revenge for the humiliation last autumn when Australia walked away from a submarine deal in favour of an alliance with the US. There must have been a frisson of satisfaction in Paris when Abu Dhabi, days after agreeing to buy the French fighter, suspended talks with the US on the purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-35.

Second, the UAE’s order — worth an estimated €14bn — will guarantee production of the Rafale through to 2031, as well as work for more than 400 French companies in the supply chain.

It will also help fund France’s investment in future upgrades to the Rafale, which is now expected to be in service through the 2050s.

Yet, while the deal has a lot going for it from a French perspective, it risks destabilising Europe’s efforts at defence collaboration. For it strengthens Dassault’s hand in the still-troublesome negotiations with Airbus’s German-based defence division over Europe’s proposed Future Combat Air System (FCAS).
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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by Defiance »

Thanks for the link SW1, that was an interesting read and puts an interesting spin on these German rumours. If Germany wants to keep up with France from a technical perspective, if exports aren't forthcoming then they need to put up the cash for development themselves.

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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by Defiance »

Boeing response to recent events - 'We'll bring more German industry along with us'

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... -the-f-18/

Interestingly though in the article, it draws out a current FCAS stress point
But an unrelated hiccup in the complex French-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System may open the playing field in new ways, according to industry officials in Berlin. Aircraft maker Dassault, France’s national lead for the marquee program, has so far refused to share access to critical avionics information for the eventual FCAS plane, dubbed the Next-Generation Weapon System.

Germany has rejected such black box technology, with officials arguing access to the entire technology package is crucial for future maintenance and development work.
Either Dassault gives up the technology or Germany backs down. I'll leave it up to the reader to decide which is more likely.

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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by dmereifield »

Germany backs down with some kind of fudged partial access

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Re: Franco-German-Spanish FCAS/SCAF Programme News and Discussion

Post by MammaLiTurchi »

Why these Germans cant produce their own aircraft? Even Turkey dares to design and build one.

Come on. It is a shame on Luftwaffe that neither Marine nor Heer have Arleigh's or M1A2s.

They should use Me-something.

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