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Indra has bolstered its participation in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and associated programmes, formally joining the project in execution of the Joint Concept Study (JCS), launched by France and Germany in February 2019, the company announced on 28 July.

The company has signed a contractual amendment that positions it as a contractor to the JCS, alongside national contractors Dassault and Airbus. The DGA, France’s defence equipment and technology agency, has signed as the procurement authority, acting on behalf of the defence ministries of France, Germany and Spain. This solidifies the agreement Indra had already made with Dassault and Airbus, enables Spanish industry to permanently enter the JCS and is a significant step forward in its participation in the FCAS and Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS) programme, paving the way for the other leading Spanish enterprises in the project: Airbus, ITP and SATNUS. Indra thus cements its role as the coordinator for Spanish industry and as its representative to the French and German industrial coordinators.

The JCS will investigate and define system capabilities and common architectures for the NGWS systems, defining and updating the technology development road map required to achieve functional and operational targets and establishing a scheduling framework for all the programme’s execution phases.

Indra has made additional strides to strengthen its position as the Spanish leader of four of the eight pillars upon which the programme is structured. The company has signed international industrial agreements to lead, alongside Dassault and Airbus, the two transversal pillars (the JCS and the inter-pillar consistency/SIMLAB), to lead the Sensors Pillar in partnership with Thales and FCMS, and to take part as Main Partner, along with Thales, in the Combat Cloud, led by Airbus in Germany.

The role Indra plays as coordinator in the NGWS/FCAS programme is aimed at ensuring Spanish industrial participation occurs at the highest level. The development of the programme will generate a major influx of knowledge and added value for Spanish companies, providing them with opportunities to develop cutting-edge products in both defence and civilian domains. The appointment of Indra as national industrial coordinator ensures the maximum return on the programme for Spanish industry and sovereignty over the technologies developed by these companies.

Indra’s commitment as Spain's national coordinator means ensuring the highest yield and the utmost quality of the NGWS/FCAS programme for all Spanish industry. This takes the form of business generation, development of export capabilities, creation of dual-use technologies and high-value job creation.

Initial estimates of the economic effect of the programme in the coming decades, in both the development and production phases, suggest a potential return on investment of up to €300 billion.

An artist’s impression of an engineer working on the FCAS/NGWS airframe design. (Photo: Dassault Aviation)

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