FCAS, European fighter of the future: 8,000 million to start


It was in December when the white smoke occurred. On the one hand, France with Dassault Aviation and, on the other hand, Germany with Airbus Defense resolved their differences – mainly related to design authorship and export possibilities – to give the green light to Europe’s largest defense industry program: FCAS (Future Combat Air System), as the future fighter is known to resolve. The Eurofighter and Rafale fleets replaced the German, Spanish and French armies.

Apart from these final disagreements between the two airlines, Spain did not miss the date and signed the contract with the technology company Indra as the coordinating company with regard to the Spanish interests.

Exactly the choice of Indra, with SEPI’s share of 27.99%, as the flagship of Spain, responded to the interest of the Ministry of Defense (as well as the industry) to create a Spanish “great champion” in the defense industry, above all, with regard to the systems subsector, sensors …

by 33% per country. This is the basis of the trio’s involvement in a project that plans to light not just a combat aircraft, but a system of systems capable of linking different military platforms (airplanes, ships, drones, armored vehicles…) with command and control. , big data technology, anti-cloud…

The first major contract signed in December was presented on April 28 at Air Force Headquarters. All support from France and Germany for Spain’s resolute participation on an equal footing from the start.

They were the defense ministers of the three countries –Boris PistoriusAnd Sebastien Lecorno And Daisy Robles– Those who have presented to the media and industry representatives the outline of a project with an estimated final value of around 100,000 million euros with an estimated duration between 2040 and 2045. This is an initial contract of 8,000 million euros, of which Spain has already agreed 2,500.

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As stated by the Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Amparo ValcarceIn that presentation: “An investment in defense is an investment in preserving peace, freedom, security, and democratic values. It is also an investment that brings with it wealth, employment, and regional and social cohesion.”

And it is that the direct impact of the FCAS project in Spain is estimated at 1,000 highly qualified direct jobs, of which 400 are in Indra.

Indra’s leadership

In addition to the Spanish technology company and Airbus Defense – with facilities in Seville and Getafe, where the FCAS will be manufactured, as is the case now with the Eurofighter – this program includes other Spanish companies such as ITP Aero, Sener, Tecnobit or GMV.

On behalf of Indra, an initial contract worth 600 million has already been signed for flight commencement under the new development phase, 1B, of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

The Spanish company is globally responsible for driving the sensors pillar within the programme, and France’s Thales and Germany’s FCMS will be key partners.

“This pillar is called upon to revolutionize the sector with a prof A multi-platform suite of networked sensors It will offer collaborative capabilities and services that will multiply the value of the data and contribute to the success of the mission,” company sources explain.

In the Combat Cloud pillar, Indra is a national leader and will work with Airbus DS Germany, as prime contractor, and with Thales as a partner in the joint development of the master enabler of the System of Systems concept that allows unprecedented collaborative capabilities between platforms.

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The two transversal pillars, which are responsible for defining and selecting the final structure at the System of Systems (NGWS) level, as well as the entire global display and validation process at the NGWS level, are led internationally by Indra and Dassault Aviation. and Airbus DS Germany.

Finally, Indra leads internationally, along with the rest of the contractors participating in the program, in defining and publishing a secure digital environment for collaborative work classified information for the program.

For its part, Airbus DS Spain leads the national involvement in the design and construction of combat aircraft and internationally a technological pillar focused on low-observation technologies; Spain’s ITP Aero leads NGF aircraft nationwide; And SATNUS, a consortium made up of the Spanish companies GMV, Sener and Tecnobit, leads the national participation in the pillar of remote carriers and manned teams aimed at developing unmanned aircraft launch technologies.

“The signing of this contract represents a common success: Spanish industry has promoted an equal standing in terms of the quantity and quality of work to be undertaken by the French and German industries. This important participation will give a strong impetus to the entire Spanish business and innovative fabric, as it will require the integration of small and medium-sized companies, universities, technology and research centers from all over the territory into the project,” Indra noted.

Defense reprograms 8×8 with another 420m

The date of entry into the army of the new 8×8 armored vehicle has not yet been established. All this despite the fact that at the end of December there was a “handover ceremony” at which the first seven vehicles were handed over to the army. It remains to be seen if they will be able to put on a military parade on Armed Forces Day on June 3, even if without 100 percent activist input.

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The Tess Defense Joint Venture, made up of Santa Bárbara Sistemas (General Dynamics European Land Systems), Indra, Sapa and Escribano, is responsible for implementing a program that should provide 348 vehicles in the first phase.

We learned the latest news about this program at the Council of Ministers on April 18, where the Ministry of Finance agreed to increase the spending ceiling by 420 million, which is already 2,000 million. It’s a program that has had many delays.

F-110 Frigates: A New Leap for Navantia and the Navy

The Bonifaz class of the Spanish Navy, also known as the F-110, began its journey in April 2022 with the first sheet metal cutting at the Ferrol de Navantia shipyard. This is Navantia’s most important shipbuilding project right now, especially once construction of the S-80 submarine is already on track with the first tests taking place.

It was on March 29, 2019 when the government gave the go-ahead for a contract to build five new F-110 frigates for the amount of €4,317 million. To build it, the UTE Protect 110formed by Navantia and Indra, is the last company to integrate most of the systems on the ship.

The payment schedule began in 2019, and ended in 2032. The first unit is scheduled for delivery in 2026, and the last for 2031.

The Bonifaz class of the Spanish Navy, also known as the F-110, began its journey in April 2022 with the first sheet metal cutting at the Ferrol de Navantia shipyard.

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Asymmetric warfare, maritime security, naval force projection, helicopters, military and civil cooperation, deployment flexibility, hybrid propulsion, and space for unmanned vehicles are some of the features revealed by the Navy. Design for the high seas, but also for the coast.

These frigates are intended to replace the current F-80 class. As happened in building the F-100, the manual labor between Navantia and the Navy is key.

It will include high-level technology such as the primary S-band radar that Indra is developing with the American company Lockheed Martin, which will provide it with high-level air surveillance capabilities and anti-aircraft combat support. It will also have a more “Made in Spain” combat system with the technological evolution of the Scomba.

The shipyard hopes to generate about 7,000 jobs each year by building these five new ships that could later be an export model, as has been done with the F-100 for Norway or Australia.

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