Welcome to an exciting journey into the heart of the Future Air Combat System (SCAF) project. A multinational initiative involving France, Germany, and Spain, this project is reshaping the future of aerial warfare.
The Initial Phases and Fund Allocation
April marked the official commencement of Phase 1B of the SCAF, a phase with a timeline of 36 months. With a hefty fund allocation of 3 billion euros, the cost is shared equally among the participating nations.
Next Generation Fighter: The Core of SCAF
The primary aim of this initiative is the development of a Next Generation Fighter (NGF) under the esteemed name of Dassault Aviation. The development is anticipated to occur during Phase 2, though negotiations are necessary before the end of 2024.
Olaf Scholz, Germany's Chancellor, has publicly verified Germany's commitment to the SCAF project, validating the project's significance on an international level.
Defining the New Generation Fighter
Phase 1B comprises the crucial task of defining the characteristics of the future fighter jet. For France, the NGF must have the capacity for a nuclear raid and be operational from an aircraft carrier.
Models in Consideration
Four distinct fighter jet models are currently under consideration for this ambitious project. Two of these models will be ruled out by June 2024, with the final selection scheduled for March 2025.
Artificial Intelligence: A Vital Component
A striking feature of the NGF will be the incorporation of artificial intelligence, which will aid the crew in making operational and tactical decisions. This innovative use of technology marks a significant advancement in aerospace technology.
Key Capabilities of the NGF
The consensus over the NGF's key capabilities includes stealth, maneuverability, and the ability to overwhelm the enemy. The NGF will also feature a ‘combat cloud,' an interoperable system that can work with aircraft from other NATO nations.
Despite progress, a significant issue remains unresolved—the “exportability” of the aircraft. This concerns the restrictions on how the aircraft can be sold and used by countries outside of the initial participating nations.
Inspiration from the Past
General Jean-Luc Moritz draws inspiration for this project from the legendary Jaguar fighter-bomber, a testament to the project's aim to blend historical success with future innovation.