> our title:

France, UK to Launch FCAS Demo Phase

> original title:

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian Will Sign A Franco-British Weapons Cooperation Agreement On Tuesday, July 15

(Source: French Ministry of Defence; issued July 10, 2014)

(Issued in French only; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

Four years on, France and the UK will launch the FCAS demonstrator program at Farnborough, building on the experience gained with the Dassault Neuron (above) and BAE Taranis demonstrators. (Dassault photo)

PARIS --- Jean-Yves Le Drian, the minister of defence will sign a major Franco-British arms cooperation agreement on Tuesday, July 15 at the Farnborough air show (Hampshire, UK)

During the Franco-British summit meeting of January 31, 2014, Jean-Yves Le Drian and his British counterpart Philip Hammond signed a number of agreements allowing immediate implementation of major defense cooperation programs planned by the two countries. It was a new step in the implementation of the Lancaster House treaty.

On Tuesday 15 July 2014 at the Farnborough air show, Jean-Yves Le Drian will sign the Franco-British Future Combat Air System Demonstration Program (FCAS DP) cooperative agreement.

This agreement sets out the terms of cooperation on the preparations for the launch of a combat drone (UCAV) demonstration program in 2016. It opens an unprecedented degree of cooperation with the British on the future of Europe’s combat aviation. Dassault Aviation, BAE Systems, Thales, Selex, Snecma and Rolls-Royce have been involved in this project, from preparatory studies to the feasibility phase.

The SCALP-EG / Storm Shadow cruise missile program is already the subject of industrial cooperation between France and the United Kingdom. Ministers will sign the agreement for the exchange of the results of studies contracted by France and the UK to prepare jointly for the modernizations and upgrade of the renovation SCALP-EG / Storm Shadow missiles.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A separate French Ministry of Defence statement also issued July 10 said the MoU will “provide a financial framework for the program, with about 150 million euros over two years. It precedes signature of the [industry] contracts scheduled for the autumn.”
The French statement also added that the FCAS “notably prefigures the future combat drone,” which is a welcome confirmation of the project’s ultimate goal.
The MoU officially designates it as a “demonstration program,” which has led some to wonder whether this is a real effort, or simply lip-service to a political goal).