All that was needed was its formalization.
The CEO of Dassault Aviation confirmed on Thursday that an agreement had been reached with Airbus to unlock the ambitious European combat aircraft project, two weeks after announcements to this effect by German and French politicians.
“Yes, today it is done.
We have an agreement with Airbus.
All the blockages have been lifted”, declared Éric Trappier to Figaro, specifying “that there remains only the formal signature of the contracts within a few days”.
An announcement that comes two weeks after Emmanuel Macron the Ministry of Defense and Airbus announced the conclusion of an agreement.
On November 25, alongside Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne said "that an agreement (had) been reached between (the) manufacturers" for study contracts leading to a demonstrator of the future air combat system (FCAS).
"This presupposes validation by the States and I think it is in progress," added the Prime Minister.
A Dassault spokesperson then said it was “not done”.
“There was pressure from all sides.
We put some.
We have suffered.
But as long as the industrial agreement was not concluded, it was premature to announce it, ”noted Éric Trappier in an interview posted Thursday afternoon on Le Figaro, a newspaper which belongs to the Dassault Group, on its site. Internet.
A 100 billion euro project?
According to him, now "we will be able to enter into the execution of the new phase of studies, called 1B, which must prepare the development of a demonstrator, which should fly around 2029".
As for the contracts, "they will be notified by the General Directorate of Armaments, which is the executive agency of the contracts, on behalf of the three partner countries - France, Germany and Spain", he recalled.
This is what the future European stealth fighter will look like
Launched in 2017 but becalmed for more than a year due to friction between Dassault and Airbus, the SCAF must replace the French Rafale and German and Spanish Eurofigher fighter planes by 2040.
The scale of the project – some 100 billion euros mentioned – is such that it must be designed at European level, carrying it out on a national scale is not possible.
According to Éric Trappier, Dassault Aviation is "confirmed" in its "role as prime contractor and architect of the aircraft" and has "obtained the protection of (its) industrial know-how and (its) technologies".
This emblematic project of European cooperation involving France, Germany and Spain, was initiated in 2017. The SCAF is supposed to enter service by 2040, but its industrial path has been strewn with pitfalls.