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Anglo-French UCAV (FCAS)

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    #21
    As we wait for something more concrete (and you have to wonder if Brexit is having an effect on an actual commitment), there has been a stream of information coming out of the UK partners which supports the idea that the programme is very much alive and very much the future of BAE/RR/MBDA etc.

    I emphasise the UK side, because the French are never shy about talking up what their FCAS thinking.

    So we have more sophisticated energy generation and management, repeated mention of directed energy, and a weapons bay which will allow the aircraft to do a range of jobs as well as drop bombs.

    All of which applies to a future manned jet as much as a UCAV.

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      #22
      All of which applies to a future manned jet as much as a UCAV.
      Which definitely was the aim. But there is something troubling in recent report on armed forces in France. Stealth features will stay strictly national. I guess they were not talking about shapes...

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        #23
        So a ministerial announcement in April?

        UK moving away from strike towards a reconnaissance optimised platform?

        https://www.defensenews.com/intel-ge...icial-reveals/

        It depends on whether that means and France have moved more towards a strike specific platform or whether the UK is prioritising LO strike with the F35 fleet.

        Is that a change of position though? What we know of Tarnish suggests reconnaissance was its prime mission in the trials.

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          #24
          Dunno mmrmalaya. nEUROn has already dropped bombs... Just listened to Trappier talking to Mps. dubious about (political) decision of FR and UK gos to build a demonstrator.

          http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15...8/c1718046.asp
          Last edited by halloweene; 1st March 2018, 19:53.

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            #25
            like the UK will be pressured by the US to stick to a recon model, as not to compete with the F-35, it's what we saw with the UCLASS program. which is absurd, considering the tactical and strategic abilities such a platform would bring, and the huge success of armed UAVs being used by the UK and France as it is

            France however doesn't have the F-35 option and thus its political pressure, and has both the need and the will to go at it alone. I wouldn't be surprised if this cooperation was a political move by the UK to delay the French program

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              #26
              I don't think there is any need for such drama. The whole point of working on Taranis, and then with France was to avoid reliance on the US. Effectively, all we know is that France doesn't operate an LO strike aircraft and might like the idea of this system filling such a role.

              Taranis was not designed to drop bombs, just simulate them. That suggests to me that the UK was more interested in the stealth and AI aspects of the design than whether they could integrate a weapons bay into the aircraft.

              In either case the FCAS UCAV is going to need to be able to sense its environment admirably whilst at the same time working to be unseen and unchallenged. Those traits are important regardless of whether bombing is the driving force of the design.

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                #27
                Dassault think FCAS is stalling:

                https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...3H#sf183961242

                I personally wonder if the UK industrial strategy side of things is cooling interest in this as much as potential friction over Brexit (which I still don't see as relevant to FCAS cooperation).

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                  #28
                  Not exactly what he said (i was there), but yes e is kind of disappointed that industrials (both french and Uk) couldn't get commitment from uk gov for a demonstrator. According to him, Uk gov too busy with Brexit nowadays. There are still hopes.

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                    #29
                    I don't see how the UK leaving the EU is going to stop this progressing?

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                      #30
                      Originally posted by mrmalaya View Post
                      I don't see how the UK leaving the EU is going to stop this progressing?
                      Budget? Lack of it?
                      The UK is grappling with a spiraling MOD budget and the very, very real prospect of having a big hit in the economy because of... well, brexit?
                      sigpic

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                        #31
                        I see that but I have to wonder if the delay is actually more to do with not wanting to commit to the joint programme yet, than not having funds for something.

                        We have just (finally) undertaken to come up with an industrial strategy for the sector, and are absorbed in the F35 induction (a point actually listed by the Dassault chief yesterday). I just wonder if Brexit is one of a few factors as opposed to the only factor which has given the government pause for thought on the next stage. Afterall, the whole process is being stretched out to fit the timescales of both parties- it needn't take another several years to get a demonstrator in the air, but that is what we were told.

                        I think it's a bit disingenuous to say its just the UK worrying about Brexit that has held up the next stage. Since signing that agreement the French have decided to jump in on the next fighter with the Germans and are also trying to make the most of Rafale upgrades all the way through the 2030s and 40s.

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                          #32
                          I see that but I have to wonder if the delay is actually more to do with not wanting to commit to the joint programme yet, than not having funds for something.
                          You mean, like waiting for the industrial strategy paper to be finished before commiting the money? Yes, could be, its entirely plausible.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                            #33
                            I canonly repeat what Trappier said mrmalaya. And he talked specifically about uk industrials being very positive to start demonstrator vs governement...
                            My own opinion do not count and tbh i do not know wht happens behind the doors.

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                              #34
                              Halloweene, personally I think it's better to have both sides working together (if only to make the damn thing more secure).

                              The project seems to allow plenty of national freedom, so ideally they will approve it with changes that get the demonstrators flying in 3 years time ,

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                                #35
                                You know that we are talking about a UCAV... a robot. There are no comparaison in cost regarding sustainability. Hence you can clearly get the two design fielded if they are compatible enough: one reco that will be flown a lot and one attack version that will be used only in anger. One could be highly stealthy, the other only have a mix of stealth and EA means to remain credible at a lower price/unit.

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                                  #36
                                  ...and now the third option of the UK just pursuing a cheaper wingman type UCAV (a la Kratos). This has been around since February as an official MOD tender for ideas and may account for the stalling of FCAS.

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                                    #37
                                    is there a direct link to read the RFP?

                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      Halloweene, personally I think it's better to have both sides working together (if only to make the damn thing more secure).

                                      The project seems to allow plenty of national freedom, so ideally they will approve it with changes that get the demonstrators flying in 3 years time ,
                                      So do I, but who are we?

                                      Comment


                                        #39
                                        FCAS will progress according to the UK MOD, following meeting of the two departments:

                                        https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/979344954878255105

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                                          #40
                                          That plan to build a demonstrator for a combat drone for France and the U.K. has effectively stalled due to uncertainty arising from Britain’s planned exit from the European Union, Eric Trappier, chairman of Gifas, the French aerospace trade body, has said.
                                          Incredible?

                                          Source (from the news thread - Tango III):
                                          DefenseNews.com

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