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Industry Teams Form for FCAS Feasibility Phase

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Work Commences on €150m/£120m Two Year French-UK Study Contracts for Next Generation Combat Aircraft

(Source: BAE Systems / Dassault Aviation; issued Nov 05, 2014)


Dassault Aviation, BAE Systems and their industrial partners have been awarded a €150m/£120m contract by the French and UK governments for a two year co-operative Future Combat Air System (FCAS) Feasibility Phase study, formally signaling the start of work. This is the first step towards what could become a full demonstration programme that shapes the future of combat aerospace in Europe.


SAINT-CLOUD, France --- Following the political-level agreement announced at the Farnborough Air Show in July this year, Dassault Aviation and BAE Systems are pleased to have been awarded a two-year contract by the French and UK governments to help define the Franco-British requirement for a Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme.

The contract was officially awarded to Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, and Ian King, CEO of BAE Systems, by the heads of the French and British defence procurement agencies, Laurent Collet-Billon, Délégué Général pour l’Armement for the French DGA, and Bernard Gray, Chief of Defence Materiel for the UK MoD, during a ceremony at Dassault Aviation’s headquarters, Saint Cloud, France.

Eric Trappier said: “We welcome this new step, which prepares the future of both manned and unmanned combat air systems. It ensures French and British companies to maintain their technological excellence which is vital to their competitiveness in a globalized environment. It mainly shows the commitment of France and Britain in their ambition to remain leading aviation powers”.

Ian King said: “This contract award is a key step in the partnership between our two nations, governments, and industries. The Feasibility Phase will allow UK and French industry to work closely together and provide a strong foundation for a potential follow-on Future Combat Air System Demonstration programme as well as supporting a number of highly skilled jobs.”

Cooperation between France and the UK is seen as the optimum way to progress a UCAS (Unmanned Combat Air System) solution, whilst supporting both governments’ intentions for closer defence ties. The joint study contract of €150m/£120m is to be supplemented with additional French and UK national funding to the combined value of €100m/£80m in the same period.

The two-year study will build the foundations on which a long-term joint programme will be based by focusing on the following key points:
- The development of concepts for an operational system, and
- The maturation of key technologies that will be required for a future operational UCAS.

Following the completion of the study at the end of 2016, work could then commence on a UCAS demonstration development programme that addresses both nations’ future military requirements.

The Feasibility Phase will sustain hundreds of highly skilled jobs at Dassault Aviation and BAE Systems with more jobs sustained by Rolls-Royce, Selex ES, Snecma (Safran), Thales and SME's involved in the programme. In addition, the contract supports the strategically important Military Aerospace Industries in both nations and is testament to the importance that the French and UK governments place in maintaining a cutting edge, sovereign military air capability.


With more than 8,000 military and civil aircraft delivered to 83 countries over the past 60 years, and having logged nearly 28 million flight hours to date, Dassault Aviation can offer recognized know-how and experience in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, from the Rafale fighter to the Falcon range of high-end business jets, as well as military unmanned air systems. In 2013, Dassault Aviation reported revenues of €4.59 billion, with around 11,600 employees.

At BAE Systems, we serve the needs of our customers by delivering a wide range of advanced defence, aerospace and security solutions that provide a performance edge. We work together with local partners to develop, engineer, manufacture and support the innovations that increase defence sovereignty, sustain economies and safeguard commercial interests. With some 84,600 employees in six continents, we are committed to creating solutions that protect and strengthen nations, commerce, communities and people. (ends)



Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd. Signs Contract with UK Ministry of Defence to Launch Feasibility Phase for Future Combat Aircraft

(Source: Rolls-Royce / Snecma Ltd.; issued Nov 05, 2014)

PARIS, France --- Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd., a 50/50 joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Snecma (Safran), has signed a new contract with the UK Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with the Armaments Procurement Agency (DGA) of the French Ministry of Defence, to continue design studies for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). This future combat aircraft, which could bring new levels of capability to the air forces of the future, could enter service towards 2030.

Following the Demonstration Programme Preparation Phase, this contract marks the start of a two-year Feasibility Phase, designed to study the operational parameters for the future combat aircraft. Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd. is undertaking in-depth studies to evaluate the aircraft’s propulsion system, in line with the joint operational requirements of France and the UK.

The French and UK governments have allocated £120 million for this new phase to the companies involved in the FCAS project: Dassault Aviation, BAE Systems, Thales, Selex ES, and Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd.

Since the start of initial studies in September 2012, Snecma and Rolls-Royce have successfully combined their respective areas of technological expertise, and agreed on a workshare split that will meet the ambitious technical requirements of the future propulsion system. Until now, studies have focused on the development of new technologies and the assessment of new system architectures. The feasibility phase will enable Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd. to explore innovative propulsion system concepts in greater depth.

Philippe Loty was named General Manager and Programme Executive of Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd. in October 2014 to ensure overall coordination of the two engine-makers’ activities. According to Mr. Loty, “Snecma and Rolls-Royce have confirmed their commitment to working together within this joint entity, and to providing the resources needed to meet their objectives. Our joint technical endeavours have proceeded very smoothly over the last two years, and our people are delighted to be continuing their work on these extremely promising new technologies.”


Snecma designs, builds and sells propulsion systems for air and space, including a wide range of commercial engines that are powerful, reliable, economical and environmentally-friendly, led by the global best-seller CFM56 and the new-generation LEAP. The company also makes world-class military aircraft engines, as well as rocket propulsion systems and equipment for satellites and launch vehicles.

Rolls-Royce’s vision is to create better power for a changing world via two main business segments, Aerospace and Land & Sea. These business segments address markets with two strong technology platforms, gas turbines and reciprocating engines. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 120 countries, comprising more than 380 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and 1,600 energy and nuclear customers. (ends)


Thales and Selex ES Start Work On UK-French Future Combat Air System Sensor Requirements

(Source: Thales / Selex ES; issued Nov 05, 2014)

NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE, France --- On November 5th, Laurent Collet-Billon, head of the French defence procurement agency (DGA), and Bernard Gray, the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Chief of Defence Materiel, launched the feasibility phase of the FCAS (Future Combat Air System) programme to carry out the system definition of an Anglo-French remotely-piloted combat aircraft.

The total value of the feasibility phase contract led by BAE Systems and Dassault is €150M (£120M).

As part of the feasibility phase, Thales and Finmeccanica – Selex ES have been awarded contracts to lead, specify and define the FCAS’s multifunction sensor suite and communications sub-systems.

During this two year contract, the two European leaders will collaborate in a 50/50 work share. In addition to specifying the future aircraft’s sensor and communications systems, the companies will define the sensor suite and communication roadmaps and identify the costs associated with producing an operational FCAS.

The cooperation also includes joint technology maturation activities to inform the design activities. The two companies will involve other sectors of UK and French industry as appropriate.

In the airborne sensors domain, Thales and Finmeccanica – Selex ES are partners of choice of Ministries of Defence in the UK and France as well as of BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation. The agreement therefore creates an unmatched European force in defence electronics that will pave the way towards Britain and France being able to operate remotely-piloted combat aircraft effectively in high threat environments.

By providing innovative sensor solutions, the companies sustain and develop sovereign technologies and a critical skills base in the UK and in France that will be of benefit to both manned and unmanned combat platforms.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, Thales Executive Vice-President, Defence Mission Systems said “The support of France and the United-Kingdom is essential for the future of remotely piloted air systems and fighter aircraft in Europe.

With this contract Thales and Finmeccanica-Selex ES will strengthen their cooperation in defence electronics and develop the airborne sensors which will respond to the forces needs for their next generation platforms.”

Norman Bone, Finmeccanica – Selex ES Managing Director, Airborne and Space Systems Division noted “As European defence budgets tighten, collaborative programmes such as FCAS offer our customers the high technology they need to meet modern threats while remaining economically viable.

“This contract, which brings together the UK and French national champions in defence electronics, will enable our two nations to start working towards the next-generation combat system.”


Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.

Finmeccanica - Selex ES is a global technology provider delivering innovative systems, products and solutions to answer the growing demand for enhanced capabilities in the national security and military domains as well as in complex civil infrastructure management. Finmeccanica - Selex ES has a workforce of 17,000 people, main operations in Italy and the UK and a strong industrial and commercial footprint in the US, Germany, Turkey, Romania, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and India.

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