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Future Combat Air System (FCAS)

uk 75

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Much as I enjoy confirming Kaiserd's animus there is a lot of truth in what he says.
Whitehall would undoubtedly have been happier with Airbus and Germany participating just as it was in the 70s and 80s.
BAe and the RAF I suspect contain people who would agree with one, both or neither of us.
To coin a phrase "we are where we are".
I stand by my amateur rune casting:
Dassault will get a new Mirage/Rafale by hook or by crook
BAe will weather UK politics getting either Tempest or more likely some part of something US.
Saab is pretty robust and will come up with something interesting.
That leaves Germany, Spain and Italy.
I actually believe in a strong Europe, as I wrote somewhere above. My chosen outcome would be a Dassault led consortium producing a great aircraft supported by GE, SP and IT. A future UK government might even buy some.
 

galgot

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helmutkohl

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thanks! now I remember this fan art
related to the old model

DqM__7eV4AEKOR-.jpg
 

Deltafan

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Found, at least this for the "tier 1":


In December 2006 the United Kingdom announced that it would acquire 138 F-35s[49] for the Royal Air Force to own, to be flown by pilots from the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.[50]

The UK became increasingly frustrated by a lack of U.S. commitment to grant access to the technology that would allow the UK to maintain and upgrade its F-35s without US involvement. For five years, British officials sought an ITAR waiver to secure greater technology transfer. Although this had the support of the Bush administration it was repeatedly blocked by U.S. Representative Henry Hyde, on the grounds that British laws were insufficient to prevent unauthorised transfer of U.S. technology to third parties.[51]

On 27 May 2006, President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that "Both governments agree that the UK will have the ability to successfully operate, upgrade, employ, and maintain the Joint Strike Fighter such that the UK retains operational sovereignty over the aircraft."[52] In December 2006, an agreement was signed which met the UK's demands for further participation, i.e., access to software source code and operational sovereignty. The agreement allows "an unbroken British chain of command" for operation of the aircraft.[53] The UK was still considering an unspecified "Plan B" alternative to buying the Joint Strike Fighter.

In 2007, the Ministry of Defence placed orders for two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers to operate the F-35B variant.[54] On 2 May 2008, however, the Washington Post reported that an Inspector General's report chided the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Security Service for failing to ensure that BAE Systems was exercising appropriate controls over access to sensitive technologies, while both BAE and Lockheed Martin denied that any technology had been compromised.[55]
And this


The UK has invested GBP £1.08 billion in development funding for the JSF. Britain has also worked for five years for an ITAR waiver to allow greater technology transfer associated with the project. The effort, backed by the Bush administration, has been repeatedly blocked by US Congressman Henry Hyde because of his concern about potential technology transfer to third countries.[5] On Friday 27 May 2006 President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a joint statement which announced "both governments agree that the UK will have the ability to successfully operate, upgrade, employ, and maintain the Joint Strike Fighter such that the UK retains operational sovereignty over the aircraft."[6]

In February 2006 the chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee stated that unless the UK got "all the information and technology it requires to maintain and upgrade the aircraft independently.... [it] might have to consider whether to continue in the programme.[7] Lord Drayson, Minister for Defence Procurement, while on a government visit to Washington to speak to members of Congress stated "We do expect [the software] technology transfer to take place. But if it does not take place we will not be able to purchase these aircraft", and has mentioned that there is a 'plan B' if the deal falls through.[8] A suggested likely option was the development of a navalised Typhoon. Mike Turner has said it was not what he recommend, but "as Lord Drayson has made clear, there needs to be a fall-back in case something goes wrong."[9]

Interesting to compare with the today's negociations for the FCAS, I think...
 
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Deltafan

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Well, for Israël, at least :


(...)
Israel was reinstated as a partner in the development of the F-35 on 31 July 2006, after its participation was put on hold following the Chinese arms deal crisis.[4]
(...)
The first squadron of 20 F-35 jets from the first production series would only include a few Israeli-made systems. The United States, meanwhile, has agreed that if Israel buys more F-35 squadrons from later production series, the installation of more Israeli-made systems will be allowed. To sweeten the deal, Lockheed Martin said it would buy parts and systems for the F-35 from Israeli companies at a cost of $4 billion. The aircraft will be designated F-35I, as there will be unique Israeli features installed in them.[15]
(...)
The finance minister said consideration also had to be given to Washington's opposition to the installation of Israeli systems and missiles on the plane. This would bar the plane from being outfitted with radar built by Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta division or missiles produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Finance Ministry officials said the ban on installing Israeli systems on the aircraft would be a major blow to Israel's defense industry. In particular, the purchase of American missiles would hurt development of new Israeli missile systems. The ban also prevents countries that purchase the aircraft from buying such Israeli military systems. This contrasts with previous American fighters, on which Israeli components have been installed. The US has agreed to reciprocal purchases of equipment from Israel's defense industries totaling between $4 billion and $9 billion, which Steinitz acknowledged could remedy this situation.[16]
Israel's three main areas of interest in customization are radar, electronic warfare and communications systems and independent maintenance capabilities.[17]
Richard Genaille, deputy head of the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, has said that installing different electronics on the F-35 would be very costly and "probably will not be in the best interest in the long run of" nations that make such changes.[18]
Israel's guarantees of more than US$4B of aerospace work in exchange for their purchase of 20 F-35s valued at US$2.7B, without any other industrial investment in the program has caused aerospace analysts to question what benefits countries who have invested in the F-35 program will receive. Norway, Denmark and Italy have all expressed concerns that the industrial benefits from the program may be insufficient to justify participation.[19]
(...)
While being interviewed by Haaretz in May 2011, Ehud Shani said that "during the last visit by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to Israel a month ago, we were told that the delay may be shorter than they originally thought. In any case, I am not nervous about it. This [delay] may actually serve our interests. I favor an aircraft with as many Israeli-made systems as possible." He also said that "we will see how they try to meet our requests over this time. In the original timetable, it was argued that there was no time [to incorporate Israeli systems into the Israeli F-35s]. We will hear their conclusions and I expect a dialogue with the Americans over the new timetable and the changes."
(...)
According to a 7 July 2011 Aviation Week article, the United States has agreed to allow Israeli F-35s to be rewired so that Israeli electronic warfare systems can be installed on the aircraft. That would allow Israel to gradually add indigenous EW sensors and countermeasures on its fighters once it receives its first squadron. With that deal in hand, officials for both the IAF and Lockheed Martin expect the $2.7 billion contract for the procurement of 19 or 20 F-35As will be signed by early 2012.[34]
"I believe that Israel could receive its first F-35s in late 2016," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin's general manager of the F-35 program. A senior IAF official, who until then was concerned about delays in the program, said that the schedule agreed upon is "very satisfactory." Israel insisted that only its own EW systems would be suitable to meet the developing anti-aircraft threat in the region, such as the deployment of SA-17 and SA-22 air defense systems in Syria. But now, claimed the official, "the F-35s we will receive will be more than ready to meet those threats."[34]
The IAF initially presented a long list of unique and costly requirements for the JSF, but it has accepted that its first F-35s will be almost identical to those of the U.S. Air Force, with only Israeli command, control, computers, communications and intelligence systems installed in them. The plans to add Israeli EW systems, air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions as well as an external fuel tank, were approved in principle but will be deferred in order to protect the budgetary framework and delivery schedule.[34]
(...)
A senior Israeli air force official stated, "the aircraft will be designated F-35I, as there will be unique Israeli features installed in them." The United States initially refused to allow the integration of Israel's own electronic warfare systems into the aircraft's built-in electronic suite. However, Israel planned the introduction of a plug-and-play feature added to the main computer to allow for the use of Israeli electronics in an add-on fashion, and to fit its own external jamming pod.[62] The IAF dispatched two officers to the US where they discussed issues involving the integration of Israeli technology into the fighter with Pentagon and Lockheed Martin officials.[35] In July 2011, it was reported that the U.S. had agreed to allow Israel to install its own electronic warfare systems and missiles in its F-35s in the future.[63] In 2012 Lockheed was awarded a contract to make changes to the first Israeli F-35s to allow the installation of Israeli electronic warfare equipment produced by Elbit Systems.[64][65] This equipment will use "specific apertures ... in the lower fuselage and leading edge".[66] Israel also plans to install its own indigenously-produced guided bombs and air-to-air missiles in the F-35's internal weapon bays.[62] Benni Cohen compared the Israel Aerospace Industries Command and control system to an iPhone App that would run on top of the central avionics.[67]
Israel Aerospace Industries will manufacture the outer wings of Israel's F-35s.[65] IAI may also play a role in the development of a proposed two-seat F-35. An IAI executive stated, "There is a known demand for two seats not only from Israel but from other air forces. Advanced aircraft are usually two seats rather than single seats."[68] The Israeli F-35s helmet-mounted displays will also be manufactured in Israel.[69] This is part of the Offset agreement provided to Israel, in spite of the purchase being entirely funded by American aid.[70]
Well, easy way too...
 

H_K

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Benni Cohen compared the Israel Aerospace Industries Command and control system to an iPhone App that would run on top of the central avionics.[67]

This is I think the crux of the issue and a great analogy.

Does Apple allow you to modify iOS? No.
Do they allow you to create and install any app without their approval? No.
If you jailbreak your iOS, will you still get automatic software updates from Apple? No.

Works the same for F-35. For FCAS, my understanding is that Dassault is committing to enabling access to the source code and to enable adding apps without breaking the software.

This has nothing to do with the underlying IP of how the source code was created and the research studies that went into developing different technologies. No one ever gets that in any deal.
 
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red admiral

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Seeing the last Le Bourget mockup, ok I know it’s been a while now, and it’s certainly very far from a definitive thing, is already a bit worrying.
To me the thing is too big. In the weight class of a F-15 or Su-27 ( wrong ?)
If the intention is really for something of that weight class , it is going to be super expensive and difficult to integrate to a carrier.
Looks like an ACF or Mirage 4000 reboot (super fighters, but that no-one really can/want afford to use in numbers in Western Europe), with all the problems of an international cooperation added.

But anyway the thing is far from « frozen », so I hope I’m wrong.
Internal weapons forces big aeroplanes and hence cost regardless of anything else. Its pretty unclear what size weapon bays any of these concepts have. And Dassault is talking about more range as well, so that'll increase size again.

Definitely an issue for CdeG but maybe it'll only be integrated on PA2

Definitely interested to see how many of these sorts of aircraft any of the European air forces can afford
 

TomcatViP

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As your "source" did no say anything about the today's situation of "black boxes" on the F-35, to compare with the Dassault politic in the NGF, I found and showed two sources to permit to other readers to compare.

And thank you for bringing up the subject to allow that for us :)
First : It's communes understanding that Israelis F-35s use unique systems developed by Israel industry. It has been stated and follow a long line of US airframe (and prior to that French airframe) customized for the IAF specific needs and tactics.

(see how an explanation can take only two lines).
 
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H_K

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@galgot @red admiral We’re talking about the same weight class as an F-35. Which doesn’t strike me as being particularly expensive on a unit cost basis.

These days costs don’t seem to be tied to the platform size... development costs, system integration costs etc, most of those are fixed.
 

H_K

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It's communes understanding that Israelis F-35s use unique systems developed by Israel industry.
With US approval required to run Israeli “apps” on top of the US core software platform.

There is no indication that the Israelis are getting access to the source code (which would be necessary if they want to modify how the US radar operates, how the flight control system works, or to modify the weapons interface for a non-standard weapons system etc).
 

red admiral

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@galgot @red admiral We’re talking about the same weight class as an F-35. Which doesn’t strike me as being particularly expensive on a unit cost basis.

These days costs don’t seem to be tied to the platform size... development costs, system integration costs etc, most of those are fixed.
Depends if the countries set up individual production lines in each country for workshare reasons, and whether a best athlete approach is actually used - cue workshare and industry sustainment issues for at least one country.

I'd think development costs here are based on how much each country wants to pay to sustain theiir defence aerospace design teams, not necessarily linked to outturn capability
 

TomcatViP

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It's communes understanding that Israelis F-35s use unique systems developed by Israel industry.
With US approval required to run Israeli “apps” on top of the US core software platform.

There is no indication that the Israelis are getting access to the source code (which would be necessary if they want to modify how the US radar operates, how the flight control system works, if they need to modify the weapons interface for a non-standard weapons system etc).

Well, it's an effect based strategy. And I will remind you that one of the main drivers in F-35 foreign acquisition lies in the guarantee that no spill of knowledge could result.

But let's not compare what is not. Dassault Aviation has never flown a VLO airframe nor does it have any experience to sustain one. LM had decade of experience in various demanding domain.
The R&D budget of Dassault-Aviation, as publicly available, is so low that most Startups with solid backing have better numbers. That is and was not the case with LM.
 
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Deltafan

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As your "source" did no say anything about the today's situation of "black boxes" on the F-35, to compare with the Dassault politic in the NGF, I found and showed two sources to permit to other readers to compare.

And thank you for bringing up the subject to allow that for us :)
First : It's communes understanding that Israelis F-35s use unique systems developed by Israel industry. It has been stated and follow a long line of US airframe (and prior to that French airframe) customized for the IAF specific needs and tactics.

(see how an explanation can take only two lines).
Two lines or 100 pages of "commune understanding" are not a source. It's why I liked the links on the F-35 that I showed above. They are precise and give other sources.

For the other older US airframes in Israel, I already answered in the same way for the F-16 MLU and the German F-4 and F-104).
 
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red admiral

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For F-35 access, the existence of a UK reprogramming lab (and for other countries) kinda gives away that some level of access is available.

The thought that anyone nowadays is going to make significant hardware changes without involving the design authority is pretty laughable given airworthiness implications.
 
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TomcatViP

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Dassault Aviation has never flown a VLO airframe nor does it have any experience to sustain one.
Petit Duc is a sub-scale demonstrator drone (more an RCS than an UAV) that has an alleged RCS bigger than that of a B-2 or a F-117...

Neuron was a Multi-National demonstrator effort with performances that does not qualify as VLO. She had many attribute built as test case without a tactically significant RCS reduction.
My own interpretation of this program (aside of the mistery surrounding her test flight program offshore of South East of France) is what I qualify as being probably the most expensive group therapy the world has ever seen...
(and it didn't succeed as we learned again lately).

So, in effect, again, no experience in the field with something that ascertain the alleged valuable technological advance in VLO aircraft.
 
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TomcatViP

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Neuron was a Multi-National demonstrator effort with performances that does not qualify as VLO. She had many attribute built as test case without a tactically significant RCS reduction.

Nice expert analysis. Source for the parts in blue?
Ths is a very old conversation that was widely discussed already. There is no need to add something here that is available elsewhere. Suffice to say that Dassault itself took (again) the bird comparison to illustrate their objectives with Neuron (there is a ppt circulating around). There was then endless discussions about what surface a bird can be. Let's not duplicate here the idiocy that were there. Suffice to say that a bird is not a golf ball and hence not a tenth or hundred of that, what is needed as a modern VLO.
 

Jemiba

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..."There was then endless discussions about what surface a bird can be. Let's not duplicate here..."

Indeed, so it's time to stop it ! It seems, the quarrel has splashed over now from the Rafale thread to
this one ! Please, stop fanboy discussions like "Dassault fighter aircraft vs. F-35", or face timeouts or bans !
Last call !
 

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FCAS: French Senate mediation b/w Airbus and Dassault rumored to end soon with an angreement:

Les séances de "psychothérapie" organisées par le Sénat, qui a auditionné séparément les responsables de Dassault Aviation et d'Airbus sur les difficultés rencontrées dans les négociations sur le programme SCAF, a fonctionné au-delà des attentes des partisans de la coopération franco-allemande. Après ce déballage inédit (viril mais correct) sur des négociations en cours, les deux industriels, qui se sont dits publiquement les choses qu'ils devaient se dire, se sont finalement remis au travail de façon plus apaisée pour trouver cet accord de principe, qui n'est pas encore un accord signé. La Tribune n'est d'ailleurs pas en mesure à ce stade de révéler les contours de l'accord.
--------------------

The "psychotherapy" sessions organized by the Senate, which interviewed officials of Dassault Aviation and Airbus separately on the difficulties encountered in the negotiations on the SCAF [FCAS] program, worked beyond the expectations of supporters of Franco-German cooperation. After this unprecedented (virile but correct) revelations on current negotiations, the two manufacturers, who expressed publicly things they had to say to each other, finally got back to work in a more peaceful way to find this sketched agreement, which is not yet a signed agreement. La Tribune is also not in a position at this stage to reveal the contours of the agreement.

 
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TomcatViP

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All states have now received a formal offer for the demonstration phase with a first flight in 2026:
"Les Etats ont reçu une offre des industriels concernés pour la réalisation d'un démonstrateur d'un nouvel avion de combat", qui doit voler en 2026 et dont le financement n'est pas encore assuré, indique le cabinet de la ministre.
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"All concerned sates have received an offer for the production of a demonstrator of a new combat aircraft", which is due to fly in 2026 and whose funding is not yet assured, indicates French MoD cabinet.

 

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Airbus is also merging technology and engineering as a result of a cascade of changes resulting from the departures, putting long-term and current research under one roof.


The military aircraft unit will be run by Jean-Brice Dumont, whose current job as head of engineering will be merged with Vittadini's technology role under a single new engineering boss, Sabine Klauke, who moves from defence to the wider role

(edited quotation to add link to Airbus website)
 

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