At this week’s Euronaval conference at the Paris-Le Bourget exhibition center, French airframer Dassault Aviation featured a scale model of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) envisioned as a replacement for the current generation of European fighters — Airbus’ Eurofighter TYPHOON and Dassault’s RAFALE — between the years of 2035-2040.
As is visible in the model displayed, the tail-less NGF aircraft features a swept W-shaped wing design. It is reported that Dassualt’s NGF aircraft design features tricycle-type landing gear for runway take-off and landing.
Complicating the NGF’s funding and sales prospects is the fact that, in addition to competing with the U.S./international F-35 fighter, the Dassault/Airbus NGF will also likely be competing with an emerging British-led offering.
As DSJ reported from Farnborough in July, the British Government has committed to spend £2 billion ($2.65 billion) between now and 2025 to develop a new fighter aircraft, the 6th Generation TEMPEST optionally-manned fighter aircraft meant to replace the EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON within the Royal Air Force (RAF) and likely offered for export.
As noted in that reporting, BAE Systems will lead Team TEMPEST’s industrial consortium, which includes the UK’s Rolls-Royce, Italy’s Leonardo and pan-European missile maker MBDA. It is expected that other industry players will be involved in the so-called Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI) program and it is projected that the new aircraft will be operational around 2035, five years before the EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON retirement date.
With the UK not involved in the Franco-German NGF development, Minister Williamson noted that Britain’s TEMPEST “approach hinges on international collaboration” and that the UK is seeking international partnership on the venture. Sweden and Italy have been rumored as prospective TEMPEST partners, as have Japan and Turkey.