6th Generation Fighters Projects

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Well remember CATBAR fighters can still be operated off a conventional runway. The main question would be if France could convince the rest of the partners to pay the extra cost of a naval fighter without operating carriers of their own capable of using them.
Given Germany’s reluctance of late to significantly spend more on defence I think paying extra for a naval fighter won’t be high on the priority list. Furthermore, the export potential for a CATOBAR jet is very limited. A possible solution is India somehow joining the program with France and building a naval variant of whatever FCAS emerges. Needless to say, risky and probably very expensive.
 

Terran

Active Member
Given Germany’s reluctance of late to significantly spend more on defence I think paying extra for a naval fighter won’t be high on the priority list. Furthermore, the export potential for a CATOBAR jet is very limited. A possible solution is India somehow joining the program with France and building a naval variant of whatever FCAS emerges. Needless to say, risky and probably very expensive.
Rafale and F4 says otherwise. Those are fighters designed for navies first but rapidly became popular export Air Force fighters. We also have the F18 a naval fighter that has been bought by Air forces.
These fighters differ from F35 where in we have one fighter family made up of 3 different aircraft simply sharing some parts.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Rafale and F4 says otherwise. Those are fighters designed for navies first but rapidly became popular export Air Force fighters. We also have the F18 a naval fighter that has been bought by Air forces.
These fighters differ from F35 where in we have one fighter family made up of 3 different aircraft simply sharing some parts.
The French built the Rafale in two variants from the get go. One for the Armèe de l' Air and the second for the Marine Nationale.
 

Terran

Active Member
The French built the Rafale in two variants from the get go. One for the Armèe de l' Air and the second for the Marine Nationale.
Yes but the commonality is between 95-80% the differences Primary landing gear and some additional equipment specifically for carrier ops. Compare that to F35 where between the three the commonality is stated between 20-25%. Just consider the amount of just obvious differences here. If we hypothetically parked an F35A next to an F35C and then across the tarmac the Rafale M and C. The F35A has the shoulder mounted gun not found on the C, the C is longer wider and taller with folding wings for Rafale same wings same tail other than paint scheme you need to get into the gear to tell the two apart.
Rafale has a remarkable amount of commonality of course it doesn’t have folding wings so it’s larger in storage on carrier.
If FCAS follows the Rafale line then that’s not a huge issue.
France needs a future CATOBAR naval variant, the rest of Europe doesn’t. France will walk away.
it’s my opinion that what could cause France to leave the program it’s likely to be Export control.
Traditionally France is very liberal in its arms sales. They love selling heavy weapons and equipment around the world. By contrast Germany is of late the opposite.
Exports of sophisticated military systems are such that if you have components made in countries they can enact control over export. We see this all the time. Examples.
American engines prevent Turkish made chopper deliveries to Pakistan.
English sub systems mean South Korean fighters don’t get sold to Argentina.
Germany and The UK had a row a couple years back over Meteor missiles and Typhoons to the Saudis.
Could you imagine if it was FCAS being sold? The French as systems lead would likely want control over export of the system after all its a Dassault.
Now my understanding is currently there is an agreement in place but it requires a threshold minimum of 20% before Germany gets a veto. Which means that the French side have to keep the German content under that limit if they want to sell it as they please. Well Germany will no doubt push to get more of the industry base so as to”bring home the bacon”.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
One thing this time around, the French are looking to build a much larger carrier and can therefore take a more relaxed approach to the footprint of the design. On Rafale, one of the major drivers for the split from Eurofighter was that both Germany and the UK wanted something fairly large with a good fuel fraction whereas France needed something that would fit on CdG.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
IMHO merging these two programs won’t happen. The infighting over workshare and export options are problematic. Two separate programs might be more expensive but alternatives aren’t a bad option. I think the US is thinking the same way.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
IMHO merging these two programs won’t happen. The infighting over workshare and export options are problematic
Just add, don't forget Frenchie insistence on having CATOBAR version of whatever Fighter program they're joining. Frenchie also the one that always want to maintain independent fighters manufacturing capabilities. Even if German going to pull away from FCAS and joining Tempest, they will find similar problem with UK on workshare.

French, German, and Spain are more tied within Airbus then UK. I still think in the end FCAS will be part of joint Airbus Military and Dasault program.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
You can't merge the project. What are they supposed to do? Mate the fuselage of one plane with the wings of the other?
Unless one side or the other is willing to completely abandon work on their own project and throw in with the other as a junior partner it isn't going to happen.
Besides FCAS is a partnership between the French, Germans and Spanish (well French really). Can't help but feel the chances of that relationship working out would be about the same as me getting back together with my ex-wife.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The French will always be a stumbling block in any such deal like that. And since Brexit I will think that the Poms may play a bit of hard ball too WRT the French and their games.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Just add, don't forget Frenchie insistence on having CATOBAR version of whatever Fighter program they're joining. Frenchie also the one that always want to maintain independent fighters manufacturing capabilities. Even if German going to pull away from FCAS and joining Tempest, they will find similar problem with UK on workshare.

French, German, and Spain are more tied within Airbus then UK. I still think in the end FCAS will be part of joint Airbus Military and Dasault program.
Yes, the naval CATOBAR requirement is an expense Germany doesn’t need. Spain should be content with F-35Bs for its navy (unless France subsidizes a CATOBAR carrier for Spain).
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #33
So basically, looking to the reactions here, we can expect that in the future there will be still two European jerfighter programs:
1. The Tempest, jointly developed by Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
2. The French Combat Air System.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
So basically, looking to the reactions here, we can expect that in the future there will be still two European jerfighter programs:
1. The Tempest, jointly developed by Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
2. The French Combat Air System.
As others have suggested, the POMs aren’t going to be falling over themselves for German or French participation in Tempest. Had the UK opted for Cats on the QE class a UK-France project would have had traction and Germany would be standing alone.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group

Seems Tempest and Japan F3 can potentially sharing Engine if this project partnership between IHI and RR come to fruition. If this happens, potentially less initiative for both German and French to joint Tempest, and more initiative to stay with FCAS.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Just add, don't forget Frenchie insistence on having CATOBAR version of whatever Fighter program they're joining. Frenchie also the one that always want to maintain independent fighters manufacturing capabilities. Even if German going to pull away from FCAS and joining Tempest, they will find similar problem with UK on workshare.

French, German, and Spain are more tied within Airbus then UK. I still think in the end FCAS will be part of joint Airbus Military and Dasault program.
Fance, Germany & Spain are the core Airbus countries. Italy & Sweden never joined the Airbus commercial consortium, & the UK sold all its government stake long ago* but a lot of parts are built in the UK, e.g. the wings for all Airbus airliners except the A220.

*IIRC at the wrong time, shortly before the price went up. Par for the course when British governments make commercial decisions.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #38
Also the development of the Tempest FCAS from Italy, Sweden and the UK continues. The Future Combat Air System program has entered its concept and assessment phase.


 
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Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #39
Top defense leaders from France, Germany and Spain have formalized plans to begin the preliminary development phase for a lead plane under the Future Combat Air System program. Germany plans to invest €4,5 billion into the program until 2027, it is expected that France and Spain will come with similar amounts.


Also the development of the Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS) element of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) programme continues.

 
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