European FCAS sixth-generation fighter may be delayed until 2050, but not because of the F-35 Lightning II

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 18.09.2022, 00:39
European FCAS sixth-generation fighter may be delayed until 2050, but not because of the F-35 Lightning II

Europe's sixth-generation fighter is in trouble again. But this time, the American F-35 Lightning II is innocent here.

Here's What We Know

The fighter is being developed as part of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program by a joint effort of France, Germany, and Spain. The aircraft was originally expected between 2035 and 2040, but in the end its release could be delayed by a full decade.

Disagreements between the FCAS project participants are dramatically changing plans for the development and production of the sixth-generation fighter jet. Germany and France cannot agree on who should play what role. Dassault and Airbus are unable to divide the scope of work and responsibilities between them. In addition, Germany is taking a long time to decide on the project because parliament is slow and reluctant to vote.

Dassault wants more quotas for fighter aircraft production and hopes to make some decisions on its own. Airbus says it is not a conventional supplier, but a major partner and member of the FCAS project. Therefore, the company wants no decisions to be made without its involvement.


The European sixth generation fighter turned out to be a very problematic aircraft. Experts said that the American F-35 Lightning II would be a big problem for it, because it has interested more than a dozen European countries. But, as we can see, France and Germany are putting sticks in their own wheels.

The conflict between the two members of the FCAS project did not begin today. In 2021, the countries, too, were at an impasse. France said that the German defense industry, by participating in the fighter jet program, could get access to French technology and use it for their own projects.

And we should not forget that somewhere behind the British Channel the Tempest program is running in parallel. BAE Systems is also working on a sixth generation fighter that could replace the Eurofighter Typhoon. Its appearance is planned for 2035.

Source: Bulgarian Military

Image: Wikipedia, Flug Revue, Defense Info