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Dassault FCAS (Future Combat Air System)


6th Generation Fighter Concept (2025)


Aviation / Aerospace

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Image from the French Defense Ministry.
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Image from Dassault Aviation press release.

Jump-to: Specifications

The FCAS is a joint French-German development set to bring about an all-new generation of combat platform for Europe.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/03/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The future of the 6th Generation Fighter is now as several firms in the West have already begun (or will soon begin) a series of studies to flesh out requirements for an all new design. For Dassault of France, joined by defense powerhouse Airbus, the study is the "Future Combat Air System" (FCAS) to be drawn up sometime in early 2019. The aircraft will be a concept study to lay the ground work for a potential future fighter built atop the framework of existing, as well as all-new, systems and weapons.

The French duo are set to be joined by Spain which has expressed interest in becoming a part of the FCAS program going forwards.

At this early stage, the FCAS concept provided by Dassault features a twin, side-by-side engine arrangement for maximum survivability in contested airspaces. The engines will be a joint-French/German development offered by Safran/MTU (respectively) offering upwards of 30,000lb of thrust each unit with afterburner capability - giving the aircraft access to the supersonic speed envelope. The Next Generation (NG) fighter will also sport smooth contours as well as hard edges all the while promoting "stealth" through special body coatings and special body shaping. The wing mainplanes would feature sharp lines and be of a pseudo-delta configuration - negating the use of horizontal tailplanes while contouring well to the established form of the fuselage. Square intakes are to aspirate the engine pairing and are set to either side of the fuselage in the typical fashion. To all this will be added a high degree of maneuverability for close-in encounters. Unlike other future-minded unmanned combat platform concepts, the Dassault approach will keep the human pilot in the equation in a single-seat, all-digital highly-automatic cockpit environment.

At this point a flyable technology demonstrator is slated to take to the air sometime in the middle part of the next decade (around 2025 or thereabouts). The aircraft could then be introduced for operational service around 2040 - ushering a new age of the combat fighter.

February 2019 - Airbus and Dassault of France have both been given a two-year contract to jointly develop a concept study around the FCAS initiative. MTU and Safran are in line to develop the powerplant required for the program.

February 2019 - As expected, the nation of Spain has thrown its hat into the French-German FCAS development program. A Letter-of-Intent (LoI) was signed by the Spanish Minister of Defence on February 14th, 2019.

June 2019 - At Paris Air Show 2019, the French Ministry of Defense demonstrated, via video, the proposed mission scope of the new, Next-Generation Fighter platform. In the presentation, the FCAS was shown working in conjunction with existing French and European aircraft platforms and warships, such as the Airbus A400M Atlas and Eurofighter Typhoon, assaulting a fortified enemy base.

June 2019 - A full-scale mockup of the Dassault-Airbus FCAS was unveiled at Paris Air Show 2019.

February 2020 - Initial contracts related to "Phase 1A" of the European FCAS program have been announced by Germany and France. Work will begin on the demonstrator airframe (Dassault/Airbus, France)), engine (Dassault, France), and combat network (Airbus, France). Spain will make up part of the Phase 1B initiative still to come.

February 2020 - For its part, Spain has introduced the first round of local industry participants in the European FCAS program.

July 2020 - Spain was introduced as the third formal major partner in the Dassault FCAS program.

Specifications



Service Year
2025

Origin
France national flag graphic
France

Status
IN-DEVELOPMENT
Program in Progress.
Crew
1

Production
0
UNITS


Dassault / Airbus - France; Germany; Spain
National flag of France National flag of modern Germany National flag of Spain France; Germany; Spain
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.


Length
52.5 ft
(16.00 m)
Width/Span
34.4 ft
(10.50 m)
Height
17.6 ft
(5.35 m)
Empty Wgt
23,589 lb
(10,700 kg)
MTOW
60,627 lb
(27,500 kg)
Wgt Diff
+37,038 lb
(+16,800 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Dassault FCAS production variant)
Installed: 2 x MTU/Safran afterburning engines developing between 20,000lb and 30,000lb of thrust each.
Max Speed
1,243 mph
(2,000 kph | 1,080 kts)
Ceiling
50,033 ft
(15,250 m | 9 mi)
Range
2,175 mi
(3,500 km | 6,482 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
65,000 ft/min
(19,812 m/min)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Dassault FCAS production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
None. This entry is currently being proposed as a flight demonstrator.


FCAS ("Future Combat Air System") - Base Project Name.


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