The inaugral day of the Paris Air Show 2019 saw the reveal of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) and Remote Carriers models being developed for the first Demonstrator Phase of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).) by France, Germany and Spain, which is the latest entrant. Turkey’s next-generation indigenous TF-X fighter jet was also officially unveiled on Monday at the Paris Air Show.
A large crowd was present for the reveal of the NGF and Remote Carriers models by Eric Trappier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dassault Aviation and Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space was witnessed by the host of the opening ceremony at Le Bourget airport, President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, the German Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula Von Der Leyen and the Spanish Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles.
Turkey’s TF-X project, a US$13 billion effort to be able to offer a fifth-generation fighter to the international market, is aiming for first flight in 2025 and to enter service in 2028. We have promised to our nation that this will be the best fighter in Europe,” TemelKotil, president and CEO of TAI, said. “As well as Turkey, hopefully this will also be a good fighter option for European allies.”
Turkey has signed an agreement with the UK in 2017 to facilitate the joint development the aircraft, it said, noting that BAE Systems is helping with the aircraft design, while Rolls-Royce teamed with Turkey’s Kale Group to work on the development of an indigenous engine for the TF-X.
The European Demonstrator Phase will run between 2019 and mid-2021 and serve as a starting point for demonstrators and technology development for a New Generation Fighter (NGF), Remote Carriers (RC) and an Air Combat Cloud (ACC) to fly by 2026. Dassault Aviation and Airbus expect a contract award for the first Demonstrator Phase by Q4 2019.
The FCAS will be much more than a combat aircraft and will be a system of systems consolidating a large array of interconnected and interoperable elements: a new generation fighter aircraft, unmanned MALE drones (medium-altitude, long endurance), the current aircraft fleet (which will still be in service after 2040), cruise missiles and drone swarms.