After long-lasting deliberations, France and Germany have officially agreed to develop a prototype of the next-generation fighter jet. The deal, which is valued at €150 million over two years, has an objective to see the European combat plane demonstrator take to the skies by 2026. 

Following the approval by the German parliament earlier in February 2020, France and Germany have officially signed the government agreement, launching the first stage (or Phase 1A) of the Future Combat Air System’s (FCAS) development. 

A third governmental party, Spain, is expected to officially join the project later in 2020 and contribute approximately 50 million euros to it.

The Phase 1A is scheduled to last 18 months and involve four main subprograms:

  • Next-Generation Fighter (NGF) with Dassault Aviation as prime contractor and Airbus as main partner, which will be the main element of the Future Air Combat System;

  • Unmanned systems Remote Carrier (RC) with Airbus as prime contractor and MBDA as main partner;

  • Combat Cloud (CC) with Airbus as prime contractor and Thales as main partner;

  • Engine with Safran as prime contractor and MTU as main partner

The contract for the demonstrator was awaited since the Paris Air Show in June 2019

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The members of the Bundestag, the German Parliament, have approved the funding for the development of a technology demonstrator of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) on February 12, 2020. The approval comes as a decisive step for the Future Air Combat System (FCAS) program to move forward. However, the vote did not erase all their reservations.