German Consortium Bags Future Combat Air System Sensor Contract

A German consortium has clinched a development contract for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) sensor network.

The Future Combat Mission System (FCMS) will develop advanced sensor technologies and a networked sensor system for the multi-nation project that includes Italy, France, and Germany. 

The consortium will prepare technology demonstrators by 2025 to showcase the possibilities of a “platform-independent collaborative solution for sensors,” FCMS wrote.

The demonstrators will spawn further sensor system development for various FCAS platforms, including a sixth-generation fighter and drone swarm.

The Consortium 

The consortium consists of Hensoldt Sensors, Diehl Defence, ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik, and Rohde & Schwarz.

Hensoldt will develop sensor technology and data fusion as well as electronic warfare and networking, while Diehl will work on an imaging target location and targeting sensor suite and on remote carrier concepts, FCMS explained.

“ESG is responsible for sensor architecture and sensor resource management as well as networking, simulation, and flight test,” the consortium added.

“Rohde & Schwarz is providing robust networking in the air and on the ground as an enabler for the Combat Cloud (i.e., directed links with high-performance data links connecting flying units; a robust, jam-proof network that is resistant to detection; cryptology).”

Artist rendering of core elements of the innovative Future Combat Air System sensor network
Artist rendering of core elements of the Future Combat Air System sensor network. Image: FCMS

Future Combat Air System

The FCAS is an air combat system program being developed by Dassault Aviation, Airbus, and Indra Sistemas. 

Announced six years ago, the system will replace the French Rafale, German Typhoon, and Spanish EF-18 Hornet in the 2040s. A demonstrator is expected within this decade.

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