The budget allocated to the fighter jet project by Berlin, which has partnered with France, has been determined. FCAS is described as Europe’s largest defense project.
Europe began to prioritize new military initiatives to increase its defense capacity.
In this context, Germany and France are preparing to commission the FCAS project, which stands for the Combat Air System of the Future.
Joint fighter jet initiative with France
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to discuss the issue with French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Paris on January 22.
The FCAS initiative aims to bring together the German fighter activities of Paris-based Dassault, manufacturer of Rafale jets, and Airbus, part of the rival Eurofighter consortium, to create a prototype.
Berlin allocated 40 billion euros
The Berlin administration has allocated a budget of approximately 40 billion euros ($43.2 billion) until 2040 for the aforementioned next-generation fighter aircraft.
It will include manned and unmanned aircraft
The FCAS system, which will consist of several systems, will include manned multi-purpose combat aircraft, unmanned escort aircraft, new weapons and communication systems.
Factors that complicate the FCAS project include Germany’s policy to require parliamentary approval for military exports.
air power competition
On the other hand, England and Italy are developing the Tempest model to rival FCAS. According to Bloomberg’s report, Japan and Sweden are also wanted to be included in the project.
Germany’s UAV project put into the museum
In the meantime, it was decided that the Euro Hawk UAV, which failed after Germany allocated 800 million euros, would be exhibited at the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Berlin. The project was canceled on the grounds that it did not comply with European aviation rules.
FCAS, Europe’s largest defense project
It is stated that the estimated cost of FCAS, which is described as the largest defense project in Europe, is more than 100 billion euros.
In a statement made towards the end of last year, the German Ministry of Defense announced that an agreement had been reached after intense negotiations.
The then Defense Minister, Christine Lambrecht, stated that the agreement on the new generation fighter aircraft was a “big step” and expressed that it was an “excellent sign” of cooperation between the countries.
There were tensions
The project was first announced by French President Macron and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July 2017.
The project, which aims to unite Europeans, initially turned into a source of tension between the two countries after the migrant crisis and the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
Macron had canceled a planned joint Franco-German ministerial meeting with Berlin over disagreements on various issues, including defense and energy projects.
Airbus defines the Combat Air System of the Future (FCAS) as follows:
It is a key tool in ensuring future European autonomy and sovereignty in the field of defense and security. It strengthens Europe as an industry and technology point by making important reflections not only in the defense sector, but also in the civilian world.