FCAS Partners Begin Sensor Design Phase for Next Generation Weapon System

Spain, Germany, and France have begun designing tactical sensors to support the Next Generation Weapon System (NGWS) program.

The initiative will focus on a suite of networked and distributed sensors, defensive aids, and attack systems (NSDAS) that will be integrated into Remote Carriers and a New Generation Fighter planned under the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program.

Industry partners entrusted with the effort are Indra, FCMS, and Thales.

NSDAS Design

For the NSDAS project, the team will consolidate technologies, algorithms, and functionalities according to sensor suite requirements defined in the previous NGWS phase.

The resulting solutions are expected to boost the sensor contribution, firepower, survivability, and situational awareness of future NGWS platforms.

Artist rendering of core elements of the innovative FCAS sensor network. Image: FCMS

“The main paradigm shift in this next generation air combat system is the native implementation of a System of Systems approach at all NGWS levels, so that the capabilities of the whole combination of systems will be significantly higher than the sum of the individual assets,” a statement from Thales said. 

“With regards to sensors, NSDAS natively implements such features based on the disruptive cross-platform collaborative approach.”

‘Cornerstone of Success’

According to Thales, the progress accumulated throughout the NSDAS partnership will build to the NGWS’ development phase in 2028 and initial operational capability in 2040.

“A strong industrial and national joint effort will be the cornerstone of success for achieving the ambitious NGWS goals,” the company said.

“The superiority of the NGWS within the Future Combat Air System will widely depend on the unprecedented ability of its sensors network to gather, process, and distribute information.”

“FCMS, Indra and Thales’ common vision for the NSDAS solution is the basis for the success in this initiative.”

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