Go-ahead to the development activities for UK-French future combat air system sensor requirements

Go-ahead to the development activities for UK-French future combat air system sensor requirements

For the next two years Finmeccanica – Selex ES and Thales will work together at the European programme for a future combat aircraft therefore creating an important partnership in defense elctronics  that will pave the way towards the development of European capacity to operate remotely-piloted combat aircraft effectively in highly critical environments.


France and United Kingdom 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.). Following the completion of the study at the end of 2016, work could then commence on a UCAS (Unmenned Air Combat System) demonstration development programme. The total value of the feasibility phase contract led by BAE Systems and Dassault is €150M. The contract has been assigned by Laurent Collet-Billon, head of the French defence procurement agency (DGA), and Bernard Gray, Chief of Defence Materiel at the UK Ministry of Defence.


As part of the feasibility phase, Finmeccanica – Selex ES and Thales 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, the companies will also 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, Finmeccanica – Selex ES and Thales are partners of choice of Ministries of Defence in the UK and France as well as of BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation. 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 new generation combat platforms.

Rome 06/11/2014