Spanish Indra will lead the “Sensors” section of the FCAS program, but is that good news?

This November 23, the Directorate General of French Armament, known by the acronym DGA, signed by delegation of the German, French and Spanish States, the contract granting the Spanish on-board electronics company Indra the management of the "sensors" pillar of the program air combat system of the future, or FCAS, aimed at developing the future combat aircraft and related systems that will equip the air forces of the 3 countries from 2040. Indra will therefore be responsible, with the French companies Thales and German Hensoldt to develop the radar and the set of new generation sensors which will equip the key aircraft of the European air forces for many decades. But is this good news?

If we believe the DGA, the Ministry of the Armed Forces, like all the official statements made around this announcement, there is no doubt about it. This is an important step towards bringing this ambitious European project to fruition, which marks the will for cooperation between the 3 nations for bright futures. And it is true that, like any self-respecting international cooperation program, the partners who will call on their taxpayers to finance it and acquire the devices, expect to have an industrial and scientific return as a result. Spain having appointed Indra as a referent for FCAS, assigning it to the "Sensors" pillar, one of the 7 major pillars of the program, was therefore perfectly expected, and even logical.

Thales has developed the RBE-2 radar with active AESA electronic antenna which equips the Rafale to the F3R standard.

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