The SCAF represents an essential political and industrial element of future European aeronautical capacity in defense. This explains the global scale of the issue, which is essential to the European Union’s position on the international market.
Challenges around the SCAF:
Important technologies that will be used to manufacture the New Generation Fighter are at stake. According to IRIS Deputy Director Jean-Pierre Maulny, intellectual property is one of the main Franco-German issues surrounding the SCAF defense program.
Dassault considers that the background (the technologies that will be used to develop and manufacture the demonstrator, in the jargon of intellectual property rights), makes the value of the company and therefore does not want to sell it. Because it will be used to develop the future SCAF and constitutes the technological wealth of Dassault.
On the other hand, the Germans consider that they will be paying to finance a military capability that they will not be able to control because they will not have access to this Background.
Agreement on intellectual property rights:
The news broke last week. The three countries involved in the SCAF program (France, Germany, and Spain) have reached an agreement, with the main industrial partners (Dassault Aviation and Airbus for the delivery vehicle, Safran and MTU for the engine). According to the entourage of the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, the industrialists have agreed on the point that threatened to break up the program, which is intellectual property rights.
Phase 1B of the program, which covers the work of the program between 2021 and 2024, should be announced in the fall, for 3.5 billion euros. With the participation of each of the three countries in the financing of a third of the program.
However, Phase 2, which will see the manufacture of the demonstrator and the flight of one or two examples of prototypes and types of remote carriers, is not yet defined.
The first flights would take place in 2026-2027. There are still several major steps to be taken, since three different configurations of prototypes, all of which are twin-engine, and six remote carriers ranging from an improved cruise missile to a real combat drone, are still in the running: one third of the designs will go to flight tests.
A new player has entered the fray:
The Italian-British group Leonardo is buying 25.1% of another radar manufacturer, the German electronics company Hensoltd AG, a former Airbus subsidiary specializing in radars and directly involved in the future SCAF air combat system.
The announced acquisition will cost the Italian-British group 606 million euros. This will allow Leonardo to become one of the main shareholders of the German company. The two companies are already working together on the Eurofighter. The group is also involved in the British FCAS (Future Combat Air System) program with the Tempest, the aircraft designed to replace the Typhoon. Leonardo, in which the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance holds a 30.2 percent stake, will be involved in the two European aircraft of the future.
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