PARIS --- On May 7, 2020, General Philippe Lavigne, General Javier Salto and General Ingo Gerhartz, respectively chiefs of staff of the French, Spanish and German air forces, met by videoconference to discuss the advancement of the Future Air Combat System (FCAS), known in France as SCAF, in which the three countries are partners.
If recurring exchanges between the three chiefs of staff have been organized since September 2019, this new meeting was an opportunity for them to agree on the operational evaluation criteria which will allow the best possible combinations of future combat aircraft and their support drones to be selected at the end of an ongoing conceptual study, the results of which are expected by mid-2021.
The commitment of the three chiefs of staff of these allied air forces aims to respect the ambition of a first flight of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) demonstrator by 2026.
The three chiefs of staff also agreed on a common understanding of the connectivity needs for collaborative air combat. In fact, collaborative combat makes it necessary to have the various national programs compete over the next two decades, before the entry into service of the new-generation air system which is currently planned for 2040.
A dedicated trilateral working group has thus been created. It will begin by identifying the time-frames when national programs can adjust, in order to integrate the connectivity needs – always collectively identified - in view of the arrival of SCAF and its native systems approach.