Speaking on 6 July (starting roughly at the three-hour mark of the video) in a pre-Farnborough Air Show press conference, Airbus Defense & Space Division CEO Dirk Hoke spoke of the imperative to unite and go for a European solution for the 6th Generation Future Combat Air System (FCAS).
The CEO referenced the parallel developments of the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Saab Grippen, which have a total of 1,120 orders collectively, and warned that Europe simply could not afford to repeat this market fragmentation mistake again.
“This [FCAS] program has to start soon,” said Hoke. “I strongly believe that it [FCAS] has to be a full European solution.” It is not sustainable if we fragment this market into two or more solutions.” Failing to unify European effort on the next generation fighter, he noted, will consign European industry to the “second league.” “We will not compete [with the US and perhaps also the Chinese] if we fragment the market further.”
It is anticipated that European cooperation on FCAS, which will commence with Franco-German Government and industry collaboration on requirements, will expand to include other European nations and their industries.