France in the trap of European defense cooperation

Is the Future Air Combat System, or SCAF, program doomed to fail? A few months ago, such an idea would have unleashed the fury of many officials at the Ministry of the Armed Forces, at the DGA and even at the Elysée. But today it is reasonable to wonder how the program could not fail, given the many critical issues that have arisen in recent weeks. After the German requirement to obtain shared management between Safran and MTU concerning the propulsion pillar of the program, and this despite the more than limited experience of the German engine manufacturer in this type of propellant, then that relating to the transfer of intellectual property regarding all the technologies embedded in the program, even those from previous programs, the Berlin announcement about the development a second demonstrator of the Next Generation Fighter pillar, or NGF, the new generation combat aircraft of the SCAF program, created a strong backward movement on the part of French manufacturers, and in particular Dassault Aviation, deeming the German demands "unreasonable".

A few days ago, it was Madrid's turn to undermine the progress of the program, announcing that the Spanish government expected to obtain 30% of the overall industrial activity of the program for its industries. Obviously, such a requirement was not anticipated by the industrialists or by those in charge of the program, since there again, the reactions varied from amazement to profound silence. It is true that she asks about the quality of the preliminary negotiations concerning industrial and technological sharing between the three countries, so much does it seem that this is of variable geometry, and that it gives the impression that points which are nevertheless essential and priority when it comes to a cooperation program involving tens of billions of euros, were not set in stone to close the door to any desire for dynamic renegotiation.

Madrid preferred the electronics engineer Indra to Airbus DS to be the Spanish reference company in the SCAF program - It will pilot the “Sensors” pillar of the program

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