Germany Will Germany leave the FCAS program to join the British GCAP Tempest?

Oublious

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Will Germany leave the FCAS program to join the British GCAP Tempest?​

BYCLEMENT CHARPENTREAU
2023-11-02
3 MINUTE READ

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AeroTime

In a surprising development, Germany is contemplating leaving the Future Combat Air System or FCAS project with France and Spain and instead joining the British-led Tempest program, recently renamed Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).

The information was first reported by the British newspaper The Times, citing sources close to Germany’s Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz.

As per these sources, there is growing apprehension in the German leadership that the FCAS project could become a “white elephant” and fall behind competing sixth-generation fighter programs, such as the US Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD).


Additionally, Scholz is concerned about the alleged preferential treatment given to French aerospace companies during the early stages of the FCAS project.

To negotiate Germany’s entry into the GCAP program and join the United Kingdom, Italy, and Japan, Scholz has a powerful card up his sleeve: the pending export of 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia.

In July 2023, the order negotiated by the UK was blocked by Germany, due to concerns about the Saudi-led coalition’s actions in the Yemeni civil war and the 2018 assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.


In response, Saudi Arabia sought alternative offers from France, with the potential acquisition of 54 Rafale fighters from Dassault Aviation.

A doomed marriage?

The FCAS project is described as a “system of systems,” composed of seven subprograms or “pillars” distributed among various manufacturers.

One point of contention, however, has been the leadership of the Next Generation Fighter (NGF) subprogram, which forms the core of FCAS. While Dassault was initially supposed to lead this subprogram, disagreements emerged with Germany and Airbus regarding control over various aspects of the project, including flight controls, cockpit design, and stealth capabilities.

Dassault’s CEO, Eric Trappier, voiced concerns regarding the protection of the company’s intellectual property pointing out that Dassault had over 70 years of experience in supplying fighter jets to the French Air Force and other nations, compared to Airbus, which has a relatively recent history in defense-related activities.

In December 2022, while the governments of France and Germany were seeking an agreement among industrial stakeholders, Trappier emphasized the need for safeguards, stating, “If I share my knowledge today, and the program is canceled within two years, how can I ensure protection from potential competitors?”

Trappier also regretted the inclusion of the Spanish branch of Airbus in the program, which created an imbalance in the negotiations.

France ready for plan B

On multiple occasions, Trappier has discussed the possibility of a contingency plan should the FCAS not succeed. Dassault’s CEO has proposed an alternative “method of governance” where the prime contractor would have the authority to select the participants in the program’s industrial base, rather than relying on the involvement of governments.

A similar approach was employed in the development of the nEUROn stealth combat drone demonstrator, which engaged six European countries in the process.

The nEUROn, which took off for its maiden flight in 2012, could play a major role for France if the FCAS were to fail. In the framework of the next French military programming law for the 2024-2030 period, an amendment hinted at an FCAS alternative.

“The Rafale F5 standard will be developed during this military programming law,” the amendment drafted in May 2023 stated. “It includes in particular the development of a drone accompanying the Rafale, resulting from the work of the Neuron demonstrator.”

The whole article below:


Until EU have a 5/6 gen fighter flying, Kaan will be matured and Turkish engine installed :D,pricetag will be to expensive with these kind delays.
 
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Huelague

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Spitfire9

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Germany gave problems to the Tornado partners early on, causing expensive delays to UK and Italy. After the Soviet Union disintegrated, Germany wanted to reassess its requirement. I think there was a one year delay before Germany returned to accepting the original proposed design. Germany has blocked the supply of the second batch of 48 Typhoons to Saudi Arabia, causing loss to UK, Italy and Spain, the other Eurofighter partners. I do not think that GCAP partners UK and Italy would be much interested in having Germany as a partner. Japan even less. Japan definitely does not want GCAP to suffer a delay. It is reported that UK, Japan and Italy are scheduled to sign a treaty related to GCAP by the end of this year. That would be impossible if everything needed to be renegotiated - budget, workshare etc with an extra potential partner.

I suspect that Germany is trying to secure a better position in FCAS but I doubt that France will give much away.
 

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After six decades, I can’t remember any European joint aircraft project where France initially becoming one of the main partners then leaving the program, bringing out its own design, except Sepecat Jaguar.
Panavia Tornado, Eurofighter are the first examples coming to mind.
And each time French pulled out very successful designs of their own and they were globally huge hits.

I used to think that French were the wet blankets of every joint European program. Mr. Killjoy! But now, after sixty years of international success, I believe it’s fair to assume that French really know what they’re doing.
 

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After six decades, I can’t remember any European joint aircraft project where France initially becoming one of the main partners then leaving the program, bringing out its own design, except Sepecat Jaguar.
Panavia Tornado, Eurofighter are the first examples coming to mind.
And each time French pulled out very successful designs of their own and they were globally huge hits.

I used to think that French were the wet blankets of every joint European program. Mr. Killjoy! But now, after sixty years of international success, I believe it’s fair to assume that French really know what they’re doing.
May be just may be one issue with French is they never had a Rolls Royce or General Electric I guess
 

Ripley

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May be just may be one issue with French is they never had a Rolls Royce or General Electric I guess
Maybe 🤔
But they always had Snecma/Safran and it always served to their purposes, right?

edit: except one project of their own where they designed it around a GE engine. Can’t remember which project but it didn’t go beyond prototype phase, iirc
 

what

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France is always looking out for their own interests and there's nothing wrong with that.
But they ask and demand the best packages of any joint project and leave nothing for the "junior" partner. Not really partner-like.

Germany should have never gone for the joint projects with France, its history repeating itself and now Germany will loose another decade or so with their defence procurement.
 

what

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Germany gave problems to the Tornado partners early on, causing expensive delays to UK and Italy. After the Soviet Union disintegrated, Germany wanted to reassess its requirement. I think there was a one year delay before Germany returned to accepting the original proposed design. Germany has blocked the supply of the second batch of 48 Typhoons to Saudi Arabia, causing loss to UK, Italy and Spain, the other Eurofighter partners. I do not think that GCAP partners UK and Italy would be much interested in having Germany as a partner. Japan even less. Japan definitely does not want GCAP to suffer a delay. It is reported that UK, Japan and Italy are scheduled to sign a treaty related to GCAP by the end of this year. That would be impossible if everything needed to be renegotiated - budget, workshare etc with an extra potential partner.

I suspect that Germany is trying to secure a better position in FCAS but I doubt that France will give much away.

Maybe Germany can get its own localized version with input from Airbus, Hensoldt etc. But probably too late to join the real program.
 

Ripley

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France is always looking out for their own interests and there's nothing wrong with that.
But they ask and demand the best packages of any joint project and leave nothing for the "junior" partner. Not really partner-like.

Germany should have never gone for the joint projects with France, its history repeating itself and now Germany will loose another decade or so with their defence procurement.
Exactly.
I was arriving at the same conclusion, I believe.
Just don’t start with France. Seek other partnerships at the start or get ready to face the serious French assertiveness, demands.
If these don’t work, like you said, expect wasting your years and even fail.
 

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France doesn't even have a 5th gen fighter, but with its own resources it could probably make a 5th gen after Rafale and much quicker. What does it need a 6th gen fighter for exactly? What even is the big difference? Like all I hear is maybe lasers which even ground based systems aren't that effective. And there's no reason why joint operation with drones couldn't be done even with a Rafale.

Plus since France won't get F35s but probably all other major european contries will, they will be the only ones without 5th gen fighter for a long time. But hey, you won't see me shedding any tears over their blunder.
 

what

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France is successful because they sell their planes with little strings attached. Kinda similar to how Turkey deals with defence exports. Qatar, Egypt, UAE - all would have had problems with US or German involvement. Indonesia gave up on Russian jets and went for Rafale. Right time, right spot. And enough funds to develop a new aircraft on their own, they don't need German involvement.
 

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Its time for Germany to join us Turks.

if they get middle finger from Tempest, maybe maybeeee if ther ego is not big they could join. I am not really warm about it.

Join what exactly? KAAN? The first block of KAAN will not even be a full-fledged 5th gen aircraft. The aim of FCAS or Tempest is a 6th gen aircraft.
 

Ripley

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It’s time for Germany to join us Turks.
Thanks, but no thanks.
The only favor they could do us is to stay away from Turkish projects because even the French fed up with their phony righteousness toward underdog nations and the risk of their ever present veto on any sale.
 

Oublious

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Join what exactly? KAAN? The first block of KAAN will not even be a full-fledged 5th gen aircraft. The aim of FCAS or Tempest is a 6th gen aircraft.


yeah the aim is, ther is nothing but paper, if our fighter will be not a full fledged 5th gen ther fighter will be not full 6 gen fighter. Let alone 6 not even 5th gen. They can start ther own program scrap at least 5 years later or jump in with Kaan.
 

Ripley

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Are Germany and Turkiye ideologically incompatible? Germany is a liberal, secular country.
If I don’t know better, I’d say you’re baiting here 😄
Isn't it obvious? It’s irreconcilable political differences on many levels of course.
 

Ripley

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Turkiye is a liberal, secular country.
Germany, in its current form, is a neo-Marxist fustercluck of a nation. Or an American mandate, depending on how you look at it.
Let’s just say that they are the most ardent crusaders of righteousness and defenders of underdogs and leave it there.

…. To be followed by a huge 😜 and 😂
 

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