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Airbus has been confirmed as the prime contractor for the Low Observability aspects of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) project and as the Spanish industrial lead for the New Generation Fighter (NGF) programme, the company announced on 9 December. FCAS will provide the next generation of sovereign air power and represents the future of Spain’s aerospace and defence industry. Airbus will play a major role working closely with, and helping to develop, Spain’s industrial and technology capabilities.

Bringing a ten-month negotiation to an end, the contract, signed with French and German industry partners, confirms Spain’s role as the third nation involved in FCAS. Airbus is taking on a primary role at the heart of Spanish involvement in FCAS, working directly with European partners and wider industry to support Spain’s contribution to the programme. The contract covers initial work on developing the programme demonstrators and maturing advanced technologies, with the aim of beginning NGF demonstration flight tests in the second half of 2026.

The launch of the Demonstrator Phase underlines the political confidence and determination of the FCAS partner nations and their associated industries to move forward and cooperate in a fair and balanced manner. The increased momentum enables industry to deploy the necessary resources and optimum capabilities to further develop this seminal European defence project

This signature builds on Airbus’ acknowledged role as the aerospace and defence prime contractor in Spain and ensures we can support Spain’s best interests by contributing our proven design, industrial and technical capabilities, as well as our experience in successful sovereign European programmes,” stated Alberto Gutiérrez, President of Airbus Spain.

A mock-up of the FCAS NGF as seen at the Paris Air Show in 2019. (Photo via Wikimedia)

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