The acting Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, has signed, together with her counterparts in France and Germany, the Framework Agreement that formalizes the entry of our country into the "Next Generation Weapons System" program, within the "Future System" of Air Combat "(NGWS / FCAS).
Robles stressed that "in this project it is very important to be present from the beginning," and that "Spain will participate in 33% of the technological projects as well as its partners".
With the signing of this agreement, which took place at the International Space and Air Show in Paris - Le Bourget, the entrance of our country into the program that sets the basis for the renovation of the current fleets of European combat aircraft around the year 2040.
This event, which was attended by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, is a continuation of what happened on February 14 in Brussels, when the same protagonists signed the Letter of Intent (LOI) for the integration of Spain in the Franco-German initiative, and the ratification by the Chiefs of Staff of the respective Air Armies, of the High Level Common Operating Requirements.
Framework agreement NGWS
The Framework Agreement sets in motion a fundamental European cooperation program to guarantee our security and defense and gives the green light to begin formal negotiations with our partners for the integration of the national industry in the "Joint Concept Study" and in the different work packages of R & D activities of the technological demonstrators.
These studies and initial work packages will serve as the basis for initiating the subsequent demonstration phase, which, between 2020 and 2030, will allow the development of specific product lines for the NGWS / FCAS.
Implications for the national industry
The NGWS / FCAS Program is a unique opportunity to guarantee the capabilities of our Armed Forces, to promote the European security and defense policy, and to develop industrial and technological capabilities of the European Industrial Base, which will provide Spain and Europe with more and more necessary sovereignty and independence.
The Ministry of Defense, in coordination with the Ministries of Science, Innovation and Universities and Industry, Commerce and Tourism, is in the process of preparing an Industrial and Technological Plan for the NGWS / FCAS that will aim to understand and maximize the generation of capabilities industrial and technological technologies that allow us to influence all developments.
The positioning from the beginning of the national industry in the NGWS / FCAS program will allow Spain not only to be relevant throughout the life cycle of the new aircraft, but, transversally, to be able to acquire technology of undoubted utility for many other national industrial sectors, that in most cases dual technologies will be developed.