Sensor Pillar of the European Next Generation Weapons System (NGWS / FCAS) Begins Activities
(Source: Spanish Ministry of Defence; issued Nov. 23, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by
Within the framework of the development project for the Next Generation Weapons System (NGWS / FCAS), on October 16 the Secretaries of State for Defense of Spain, Germany and France signed the Consolidated Implementation Agreement number 2, on integration of Spain in Phase 1A of research, development and technological demonstration of the project.

This signing was a fundamental milestone for our country, since it meant the full incorporation of Spain into this project after almost two intense years of negotiation since the Letter of Intent for Spain's adhesion to the French-German project was signed on February 14, 2019 by Defense Minister Margarita Robles with her French and German counterparts.

Following on from this signature, at the beginning of this month the industrial contract was awarded for the beginning of the R&D activities of the sensor pillar which, led by the company INDRA, has the participation as main partners of Thales by France and FCMS by Germany.

The implementation of the activities of this pillar will allow the development, maturation and technological demonstration processes related to new, advanced concepts for the use of sensors in the NGWS project.

It is expected that in the next few weeks the industrial contract for the integration of our companies in the technological pillars of the new generation aircraft, engine, remote operators and combat cloud will also be awarded; while the activities of the low-observable pillar will begin. AIRBUS SAU, INDRA, ITP Aero and SATNUS will participate as national leaders in these activities.

The NGWS / FCAS project is essential for the future capabilities of our Armed Forces, as well as for the technological and industrial development of the defense industrial sector, applicable to many other sectors of the rest of the national industrial fabric, which is why it is considered a project of State.


Green Light for FCMS, Indra and Thales to Start Designing the Sensors That Will Contribute to NGWS/FCAS Superiority
(Source: Indra; issued Nov. 23, 2020)
MADRID --- Germany, Spain and France, the three driving forces of the NGWS/FCAS program, have entrusted FCMS, Indra and Thales with the development of the innovative suite of sensors that will equip the Future European Combat Air System.

The French Armament General Directorate (DGA) on behalf of the three nations, has signed the contract with Indra as leader of the industrial consortium in order to incorporate the Sensors as part of the Phase 1 contractual framework. The Phase 1 A Concept Study for Sensors will last for one year, a period which may be extended by another six months.

The consortium will work on the design of the concepts required to meet the stakes of 2040 and beyond for the next generation combat system, involving a connected and distributed architecture of sensors, the design of future sensors architectures and the maturation of the associated sensors technologies.

This distributed sensor architecture will leverage the capabilities provided by the NGWS/FCAS combat cloud, with improved system situational awareness and increased platforms survivability. The sensors pillar consortium looks forward to working together with the other NGWS/FCAS pillars (Combat Cloud, Next Generation Fighter, Remote Carriers) in order to optimize the design and integration of the Sensors within the System and platforms.

The signing of this initial contract provides evidence of the excellent harmony and spirit of collaboration among FCMS, Indra and Thales. According to Manuel Rodríguez Cerezo, the Director of the NGWS/FCAS program at Indra, “the industrial cooperation and the proactivity demonstrated by the three companies have facilitated the taking of this first step to move ahead with the program”.

The development of the sensor pillar is essential to ensure consistent architectures that are perfectly integrated into the new generation fighters (NGF), unmanned systems and remote operators (RCs) and the combat cloud. The superiority of the NGWS/FCAS will largely depend on the capacity of its network of sensors to compile more and better information than the adversary.

Indra has been appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Defence to coordinate the Spanish participation in the FCAS/NGWS program. It also heads up the Spanish participation in four of the eight pillars into which the program has been divided. It has signed international industrial agreements to lead the two transversal pillars (the studies of the system concept and the inter-pillar consistency) with Dassault and Airbus, heads up the sensors pillar at the European level and participates in the development of the combat cloud as the main partner. Indra's role as coordinator of the NGWS/FCAS program seeks to ensure that Spanish industry achieves the maximum level and quality of participation in the program.

FCMS (Future Combat Mission Systems) is a consortium formed by Hensoldt, Diehl Defence, ESG and Rohde & Schwarz that brings together the capabilities and innovative strengths of over 22,000 employees in the security and defence industry, some 16,000 of whom are located in Germany. Hensoldt is contributing to FCMS with all of its portfolio competences like, radar, electronic warfare, electro-optical systems. Within Hensoldt, the Program Lead lies with Spectrum Dominance & Airborne solutions. Hensoldt technology is key for the performance of the future Sensor Effector network.

Indra is one of the leading global technology and consulting companies and the technological partner for core business operations of its clients world-wide. At the end of fiscal year 2019, Indra achieved revenues of €3.204 billion, with more than 49,000 employees, a local presence in 46 countries and business operations in over 140 countries.

Thales is a global high technology leader investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations –connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technology.With 83,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2019 (on a basis including Gemalto over 12 months).


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