What is AWACS in air systems

2040, l'odyssée du SCAF - Le système de combat aérien du futur - version allemande

Report d'information n ° 642 (2019-2020) by M. Ronan LE GLEUT and Mme Hélène CONWAY-MOURET, déposé le 15 juillet 2020

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Synthèse du rapport (en allemand) (475 Koctets)


No. 642

SENATE

SPECIAL SESSION 2019-2020

Recorded in the Presidium of the Senate on July 15, 2020

INFORMATION REPORT

ISSUED

on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and the Armed Forces (1) on the air combat system of the future (Future Combat Air System, FCAS),

By Ronan Le Gleut and Hélène Conway-Mouret,

Senators

THE ESSENTIALS

The Future Air Combat System (FCAS) program is essential for the renewal of France, Germany and Spain's combat aircraft by 2040 (when the Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon cease to operate). Also for them Preservation of Europe's strategic autonomy and industrial and technological defense base it is essential.

With the development of a new generation air combat system together with our German and Spanish partners, you can have the best technologies and master all the threats of the coming decades.

At the end of their work, the mission investigated four main challenges for the FCAS program: a new stage is to be started in early 2021 to make the program irreversible; the challenges of the years 2040-2080 (expected term of the FCAS) should be mastered; industrial cooperation should be made as effective as possible, avoiding the pitfalls of some previous cooperation programs; the European dimension and the existence of a competing program, Tempest, should be taken into account. The Mission makes specific proposals for each of these challenges.

I Make the FCAS program irreversible by mid-2021

The FCAC program is for decades to come indispensable and structuring. However, the current financial commitment with a first contract for 65 million euros for the joint concept study and a second contract for 155 million euros for stage 1A of the development of the demonstrator is too low to prevent a reversal. Negotiations on the Franco-German agreement on the first stage of the program were arduous. Care should still be taken to ensure that the program is not permanently blocked or delayed too much. In this context, the next twelve months are crucial for a new agreement, particularly on the issue of industrial property and the “stealth technology” pillar, and to accelerate the implementation of the program.

Proposal 1: Prefer to sign a global framework agreement in early 2021 to continue the development of the FCAS demonstrator until 2025/2026, rather than a series of agreements that require repeated political confirmation.

Suggestion 2: Improve mutual understanding between the three partners; Define and publish a common strategy for the defense industry ”including advance planning of joint projects.

Suggestion 3: Encourage the three partners to speed up the FCAS timeline to become part of the post-coronavirus economic recovery plans. Plan to complete the program before 2040.

Suggestion 4: Request the German partner to sign an agreement on arms exports similar to that with France with the Spanish partner.

II Develop the technologies necessary to make the FCAS 2040 truly revolutionary.

The FCAS is to replace the current air combat systems (Rafale and Eurofighter) by 2040 and remain in use until 2080 or even longer. The rapid development of technologies in the field of combat aviation, but also artificial intelligence, data exchange, combat cloud, electronic warfare and hypervelocity missiles, as well as the efforts of our most important opponents and allies to develop ever more powerful systems, make a look beyond the year 2040 is required. The challenge is to Avoid developing a combat system that would be out of date by the time it was put into operation. The ethical and legal dimensions of artificial intelligence should also be taken into account in the program.

Suggestion 5: Consider artificial intelligence as a transversal pillar “of the FCAS, which must be developed with the broadest possible scope. Resumption of international discussions on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) in order to achieve a clear legal framework in line with the ethics and principles of international humanitarian law.

Suggestion 6: Consider the “combat cloud” pillar as a priority on the same level as aircraft and engines. Prepare the integration of the FCAS combat cloud with the Scorpion Command and Information System (CIS) with immediate effect.

Suggestion 7: Make the necessary investments to equip the demonstrator planned for 2026 with the M88 engine (the Rafale) or its further development.

Suggestion 8: Strive for the highest possible performance and integrate environmental concerns into the FCAS program right from the start.

III For effective and balanced industrial cooperation

Experience with certain international defense cooperation programs, such as the A400M, helped the FCAS to create a highly structured industrial organizationguided. It is divided into seven pillars: aircraft, engine, remote carriers (remote-controlled or connected effectors), combat cloud, simulation / coherence and soon also stealth technology and sensors. An innovation leader and a main partner have been identified for each of these pillars. It is true that France can count on its leading armaments manufacturers who have already demonstrated their know-how in the most important areas affected by the program. In the interests of the overall industrial balance However, the positioning of the subcontractors must not be underestimated. The question of industrial property must also be regulated in accordance with the main principles already confirmed in the Franco-German agreement of December 2019.

Suggestion 9: Support the principle of the Best Athlete (or Best Athlete: the one who has already proven his competence is given the leading role) throughout the duration of the FCAS program, in order to avoid mistakes in the A400M program and at the same time be vigilant to stay with regard to the participation of French defense SMEs / midcaps in the program.

Suggestion 10: Strengthen the position of the Spanish partner in the “Sensors” pillar.

Suggestion 11: Protecting the background of “industrialists” in intellectual property. Provide a balanced use of the foreground ”(technologies that arise during development): guarantee each of the participating countries the possibility of maintaining and further developing the FCAS project after it has been put into operation; ensure that innovations are adequately protected.

Suggestion 12: Integration of ONERA into the FCAS program at an appropriate level in view of the outstanding competencies of this research center in combat aircraft. Encourage industrialists to use ONERA for subcontracting.

IV Add a European dimension to the FCAS program

Even if the FCAS program is currently a German-French-Spanish project, the possibility of finding synergies with the European defense instruments and the goal of exportability must lead to this at the appropriate time to consider expanding cooperation. Besides, it would be unwise the Tempest program not to be considered.

Suggestion 13: Strive to expand the FCAS program in its further stages (after 2026) to new European countries. Develop synergies with the European defense instruments (EDIDP, PESCO, EVF), especially with regard to the introduction of European interoperability standards.

Suggestion 14: Take into account the parallel existence of Tempest as a competitor of the FCAS, whereby the coexistence of two programs complicates the establishment of the European technological and industrial defense base (EDTIB).

LIST OF SUGGESTIONS

Proposal 1: Prefer to sign a global framework agreement in early 2021 to continue the development of the FCAS demonstrator until 2025/2026, rather than a series of agreements that require repeated political confirmation.

Suggestion 2: Improve mutual understanding between the three partners; Define and publish a common strategy for the defense industry ”including advance planning of joint projects.

Suggestion 3: Encourage the three partners to speed up the FCAS timeline to become part of the post-coronavirus economic recovery plans. Plan to complete the program before 2040.

Suggestion 4: Request the German partner to sign an agreement on arms exports similar to that with France with the Spanish partner.

Suggestion 5: Consider artificial intelligence as a transversal pillar “of the FCAS, which must be developed with the broadest possible scope. Resumption of international discussions on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) in order to achieve a clear legal framework in line with the ethics and principles of international humanitarian law.

Suggestion 6: Consider the “combat cloud” pillar as a priority on the same level as aircraft and engines. Prepare the integration of the FCAS combat cloud with the Scorpion Command and Information System (CIS) with immediate effect.

Suggestion 7: Make the necessary investments to equip the demonstrator planned for 2026 with the M88 engine (the Rafale) or its further development.

Suggestion 8: Strive for the highest possible performance and integrate environmental concerns into the FCAS program right from the start.

Suggestion 9: Support the principle of the Best Athlete (or Best Athlete: the one who has already proven his competence is given the leading role) throughout the duration of the FCAS program, in order to avoid mistakes in the A400M program and at the same time be vigilant to stay with regard to the participation of French defense SMEs / midcaps in the program.

Suggestion 10: Strengthen the position of the Spanish partner in the “Sensors” pillar.

Suggestion 11: Protecting the background of “industrialists” in intellectual property. Provide a balanced use of the foreground “(technologies that arise during development): guarantee each of the participating countries the possibility of maintaining and further developing the FCAS project after it has been commissioned; ensure that innovations are adequately protected.

Suggestion 12: Integration of ONERA into the FCAS program at an appropriate level in view of the outstanding competencies of this research center in combat aircraft. Encourage industrialists to use ONERA for subcontracting.

Suggestion 13: Strive to expand the FCAS program in its further stages (after 2026) to new European countries. Develop synergies with the European defense instruments (EDIDP, PESCO, EVF), especially with regard to the introduction of European interoperability standards.

Suggestion 14: Take into account the parallel existence of Tempest as a competitor of the FCAS, whereby the coexistence of two programs complicates the establishment of the European technological and industrial defense base (EDTIB).

I. FCAS, A COOPERATION PROGRAM NECESSARY FOR EUROPE'S STRATEGIC AUTONOMY

The FCAS is a very ambitious program with a threefold dimension: a political projectlinked to the Franco-German friendship that Spain later joined, an answer to one Capacity requirements, an initiative for the preservation of strategic autonomy Of France is essential and to create a strategic autonomy of Europe contributes. Given its nature as a system of systems, “it aims to provide an innovative response to the threats the armed forces will face by 2040.

A. A COMMON CAPACITY NEED BETWEEN FRANCE, GERMANY AND SPAIN BY 2040.

1. The replacement of the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon
a) The capacity requirement

The first reason for starting the FCAS program is that Meeting a capacity requirement of the French, German and Spanish air forces by 2040.

In fact, the needs of the three countries for the renewal of their combat aircraft equipment are relatively congruent:

- on French side there is a need to find a successor to the Rafale, which has been in service with the Navy since 1998/99 and with the Air Force since 2006 and is to be retired around 2060. The FCAS will gradually become the Rafale F3R1(*), which was qualified by the DGA in July 2018, and then its successor, the Rafale F4, which has improved connectivity, improved electronic warfare capabilities and greater radar efficiency of the aircraft, representing a first step towards FCAS. The FCAS must also have the Take on the role of nuclear deterrent;

- on the German side there is a need to regulate the successor to the Eurofighter, which has been in service with the Air Force since 2004 and should be retired around the same time as the Rafale, after it has been improved in the meantime. The new system should enable Germany to its nuclear missions for the benefit of NATO (B61 gravity bombs carried by Torandos P200) continue to operate;

- on the Spanish side Replacement of the Eurofighter, which was ordered in 2010, 2014 and 2017. It should be noted that Spanish ALA 46's F / A-18A Hornet in the Canary Islands, taken from U.S. holdings in the 1980s, will expire in 2025. The same applies at a later date to the approximately sixty aircraft of the same type that are later acquired by the Spanish Air Force. The Spanish Navy also deploys a dozen AV-8 Harrier II aircraft from the aircraft carrier Juan Carlos I. To meet this renewal need, Spain could be tempted to purchase copies of the F35B, the only aircraft on the market that could take off vertically from the carrier. So far, however, this solution has not been chosen, on the one hand because of the European preference of Spain and on the other hand because of the very high cost of the F35B. Even if one opted for the F35B, it would probably not be a choice that would ultimately steer Spain in the direction of the American aircraft manufacturer.

The new air force system that will succeed Rafale and Eurofighter is a must Multipurpose system2(*) adapted to the context of the year 2040 and the following decades until its retreat, probably around 2080. There is general agreement that this context is through There is general agreement that this context is through a greater threat to the airspace from our airspace opponents will be identified by means of "Anti-Access / Area Denial" (A2 / AD) strategies, which are implemented with the help of detection systems (broadband radar) and missile defense systems (e.g. the Russian S400 and its successors), which are extremely effective. This makes it impossible to penetrate into enemy space, even if mastery of the third dimension remains essential for any military action, including from the ground.

In addition, the new fighter aircraft must be able to carry both the French nuclear weapon and the NATO nuclear weapon implemented by Germany, which will affect its properties, which are yet to be specified.

b) Consequences for the future aircraft carrier

Have the size and weight of the new fighter aircraft Effects on the dimensions of the possible future French aircraft carrier and the size of the missiles that can be used and developed in the future.

The Rafale Marine currently has a wingspan of 10.90 meters, a length of 15.27 meters, an empty weight of 10 tons and a maximum weight of 24 tons with armament. The NGF will be heavier for at least three reasons: it must be able to carry more manpower, it must have a greater flight range, and its camouflage will likely require a certain volume of missile bunkers.

For comparison: the American stealth fighter F22 has a wingspan of 13.56 meters, is 18.9 meters long, weighs 20 tons unloaded and up to 35 tons when fully loaded. The NGF model presented at Le Bourget was 18 meters long. Admiral Christophe Prazuck, chief of the naval staff, also mentioned at his hearing in the Senate on October 23, 2019 a weight of about 30 tons for the NGF and larger dimensions than that of the Rafale, implying an aircraft carrier much larger and heavier than the Charles de Gaulle. The envisaged order of magnitude would be 70,000 tons for an aircraft carrier 280 to 300 m in length, compared to 42,000 tons and 261 meters for the current aircraft carrier.

2. Keep a sovereign aircraft, maintain top-class skills.

If the development of a European aircraft is not launched today, France and Germany will likely have to find a non-sovereign solution in 2040. It will then likely be the F35, slated to remain in service until around 2080, or one of its American successors.

France would thereby forego its strategic autonomy. It would also give up part of its industrial and technological defense base. It should be noted that France is the only country besides the USA and Russia that can produce a fighter aircraft entirely itself.

The same applies to Germany. Despite its traditionally more favorable stance towards the US on this issue, Germany decided in April 2020 to purchase 93 Eurofighter aircraft (BAE Systems, Airbus and Leonardo) and 45 American F-18s (Boeing) for the renewal of its Tornado fleet can carry the American atomic bomb, and not the F-35as the Americans had urged them, arguing that only an American plane could carry the bomb (although even the tornado, the current carrier within the German armed forces, is a European plane).

Furthermore the abandonment of strategic autonomy that would result from the lack of a new air combat system program or from a late start would likely be permanent. In fact, it would be very difficult for European manufacturers, especially aircraft and engine manufacturers, to skip a generation of aircraft. The top qualifications required in this area can only be achieved by effective participation in industry programs be maintained. In particular for the two most important French at the NGF3(*)Manufacturers involved in the project, Dassault and Safran, the last military program with the Rafale dates back to the 1980s. The aircraft manufacturer has not developed a new fighter aircraft since then, just as the engine manufacturer has not produced a complete engine (hot and cold parts) since the M88 engine of the Rafale. It is therefore imperative that the two manufacturers work on a new major project and mobilize all the skills that are required to manufacture a complete aircraft.

The Safran representatives and the CEO of Dassault described the FCAS as a new air combat system program in their conversation with the reporters, an existential project ”. This existential character for the strategic autonomy of Europe ultimately fully justifies the fact that the expressed needs are not met by an aircraft bought off the shelf.Conversely, the A400M may not have had the same “existential” character for Airbus (as the Court of Auditors found in its 2010 report on the implementation of armaments programs).

It should also be noted that the international trend “with regard to combat aircraft is towards sovereign programs. Many regional powers have decided to develop their own combat aircraft, especially in Asia, both for reasons of sovereignty and to develop a local industrial structure. Such is the case of China with the Chengdu J-20, a twin-engine stealth aircraft; South Korea, which is developing a fighter jet, the KF-X, in collaboration with Indonesia; India, which is developing the HAL AMCA through the domestic industrial group Hindustan Aeronautics; Japan, which is also developing a stealth aircraft (as it was unable to acquire the F22, which the Americans have refused to export); Turkey and Iran. The adherence of the FCAS member states to their strategic autonomy is therefore largely shared.

B. A PROJECT TO DEEP GERMAN-FRENCH COOPERATION

As a capacitive and operational project, the FCAS has been a Franco-German political projectrequested by the President of the Republic and announced on July 13, 2017 in the Franco-German Defense and Security Council.

The FCAS is thus an additional opportunity to strengthen and advance the Franco-German couple, with the desire to revive this couple, expressly expressed in the Aachen Treaty of January 22, 2019. Even if the project now includes Spain and other countries could join, it is in fact primarily the result of the cooperation efforts that have been made between France and Germany in recent years, particularly in the field of defense. With the commitment of the two nations to a cooperation that is expected to last more than 20 years (and even 50 years if you add in the probable lifespan of the weapon system), the FCAS program represents the assurance of a very close exchange over this period , at both political and industrial levels, as well as the Future Battle Tank Project (MGCS) for land programs.

1. The impetus from the Aachen Treaty

More than half a century after the signing of an Elysée Treaty under the sign of reconciliation (January 22, 1963), the signing of the Franco-German cooperation and integration treaty by President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel on January 22, 2019 in Aachen the will of both countries to deepen the Franco-German partnership approved.

In particular in Chapter 2 of the contract Peace, security and development" will the The need reaffirmed the bilateral Franco-German defense relationship for a stronger Europe and taking into account the latest threats and unrest at international level (Brexit, terrorist threat, increasing populism, questioning of the multilateral order by the power countries, etc.). This chapter also contains a mutual assistance clause based on Articles 5 (NATO) and 42.7 (EU). It also sees the development of one common strategy culture to strengthen Franco-German operational cooperation through joint operations, which relates to the European Intervention Initiative (EII) and confirms Germany's willingness to play a greater role on the international stage.

In addition, the two parties undertake in the area of ​​capacitive and industrial cooperation in the contract, to intensify the development of joint defense programs and their expansion to include partners“(Article 4.3) and a common concept“To develop arms exports for these projects.

Finally, the Aachen Treaty reaffirms the role of the Franco-German Defense and Security Council (DFVSR) as a political body to control these mutual obligations. Under the joint chairmanship of the French President and the German Chancellor, the DFVSR brings together the foreign and defense ministers of both countries and was last formally held on July 13, 2017 in Paris.

2. Confirmation of prospects for strengthening Franco-German operational cooperation

The FCAS project was born in a context new perspectives for operational cooperation between France and Germany. The Aachen Treaty confirmed the progress made in this area in recent years. The willingness to act together wherever possible [...] to maintain peace and security“(Article 4.2) shows the will to increase the tendency of German deployments in areas of French interest (Sahel zone and Levant) to be observed in recent years. In addition, it seems imperative to try to capitalize on Germany’s increased engagement in these areas, especially in the Sahel, where German support in the event of a full or partial withdrawal of American capacities (Air-to-air refueling, tactical and strategic transport, reconnaissance) could be reinforced.

Germany's participation in the European Intervention Initiative (EII), which was launched in June 2018 in around 10 countries and in which 13 countries are now participating4(*), could help bring the common strategic cultures of France and Germany closer together in order to facilitate joint operations of their armed forces. The EII thus takes the form of working groups that are located at headquarters level in the areas of strategic anticipation, development and planning of scenarios, support of operations, and feedback and exchange of doctrines.

France also has his return to Lithuania alongside Germany in 2020 as part of NATO's increased forward presence announced. France's involvement in this context includes the dispatch of 300 soldiers, 4 Leclerc tanks and 13 armored infantry combat vehicles.

However, Germany's wish to become more involved on the international stage, as expressed in the White Paper of 2016 and the coalition agreement of 2018, has so far not significantly influenced Franco-German operational cooperation. As part of the Franco-German brigade stationed in Mali (November 2018 - March 2019), German units were deployed in MINUSMA and EUTM Mali, while French soldiers were integrated into Operation Barkhane. Joint engagement in hard fighting is unthinkable in the foreseeable future: Germany is not planning any participation in the Takuba Task Force and should limit itself to political support for the European Maritime Surveillance Mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASoH).

In general, the French initiatives do not always get the desired response. The mission was also able to determine this during its visit to Berlin: With regard to the Sahel zone, the German MEPs questioned the modalities of the military intervention in Mali and regretted the lack of coordination between the various initiatives in support of the G5 Sahel. Germany should nevertheless become more involved in the international coalition for the Sahel zone by adding the pillar Support for the return of government services and administrations " controls.

The gradual development of the German position on defense issues

1. Germany's traditionally cautious attitude towards foreign relations and defense

In 2012, our colleague Jean Marie Bockel, in his report on the draft law ratifying the agreement on the Franco-German Brigade, highlighted the defense tensions between the two countries, particularly in relation to the intervention in Libya (2011). On the topics of discussion, he mentioned differences of opinion within NATO, in particular on the role of nuclear deterrence and disarmament or on joint financing. He also referred to the conclusion of the Franco-British defense agreements in 2010 (Lancaster House Agreement), which have raised questions in Germany.

The report also stressed that the budgetary context does not currently seem conducive to deepening Franco-German defense cooperation. Germany was actually in the process of major reforms of its defense apparatus, particularly with the abolition of conscription and the closure of many garrisons. In France, with the downsizing and reform of support services, the defense apparatus had fundamentally changed.

Finally, the Senate report stressed that German political and military leaders had begun to reflect on the need for their country to play a stronger role in defense and security issues, even though the German army was active in several arenas, such as Afghanistan However, the German public is still reluctant to face external operations, especially when it comes to combat missions.

2. A shift towards a more active attitude after the Libya crisis

a) Gradual development of German doctrine

After abstaining from voting on the intervention in Libya (UN Security Council Resolution 1973 of March 2011), the Merkel III government (2013-2018) began to think about how Germany could take on more responsibility on the international stage. At the Munich Security Conference 2014, Federal President J. Gauck, Defense Minister U. von der Leyen (CDU) and Foreign Minister F.-W. Steinmeier (SPD) declared in three speeches that Germany was ready to assume its international responsibilities and to become more involved. This demand for more international engagement was called the Munich Consensus ”. The strong German engagement in Ukraine in 2014, especially in the Normandy format, was a concrete expression of this increased engagement.

The deliberations on this reorientation were also extended to the field of defense. In the coalition agreement of 2013, the government had already pointed out that the Bundeswehr was a military in action, "which meant a break with the tradition of restraint and with the pacifist stance of a large part of public opinion and certain parties. This approach was confirmed in the 2016 White Paper. This development is also accompanied by a budgetary effort: in the run-up to the NATO summit in July 2018, the Chancellor promised to spend 1.5% of GDP on defense in 2024. While the target set at NATO level remains at 2%, the German ambassador to France, Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, emphasized during his hearing before your committee that the German defense budget had already been increased by 40% in the last five years.

b) Persistent aversion and growing opposition to arms exports

The Bundeswehr, however, remains a parliamentary army, because the mandate of the Bundestag is the prerequisite for any external intervention. In addition, the German parties and administrations are still very divided on these issues, even if public opinion is gradually moving towards more approval for greater commitment to the outside world. In addition, Germany is often criticized by the public and some political parties for its status as the fifth largest arms exporter in the world. For example, the new coalition agreement provides for a ban on arms deliveries to countries that are directly involved in the war in Yemen.

After the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi on October 2, 2019, Germany announced the suspension of its arms exports to Saudi Arabia. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for international regulation of cruise missiles. While the Chancellor in February 2019 Development of a common European arms export culture“Demanded, the SPD rejects more arms exports and advocates a ban on all exports to war and crisis areas as well as to countries outside of NATO. She is also against a large increase in the defense budget.

c) Numerous engagements of Germany on foreign arenas

Despite the continuing reluctance, the Bundeswehr is now active in many different areas of operation. After it was decided in 2014 to deliver weapons to the Iraqi Peshmergas in their fight against the Islamic state and thus breaking the taboo on arms exports to conflict areas (also to a non-state actor), Berlin's support for the French operations after the attacks is clear in Paris the change in German foreign policy towards a more active foreign policy engagement.

In addition, Berlin, shaken by the migration crisis and the threat of terrorism, has been increasingly involved in Africa for several years, especially in the Sahel zone (Mali: MINUSMA, EUTM Mali, EUCAP Sahel, Niger - although its engagement in Somalia was discontinued at the beginning of 2018 ), especially in support of the G5 and their joint emergency force.

d) Germany's renewed commitment to multilateralism and to reform of the UN Security Council

In addition, Germany is striving to strengthen its role in the United Nations. Foreign Minister Maas has agreed with Le Drian to launch a “multilateralism initiative”. Berlin also shows its willingness to increase German voluntary contributions to the UN and to continue to participate in peacekeeping operations.

In addition, Germany is aiming for a permanent seat on the Security Council, as well as for the other G4 members (Brazil, India and Japan). The coalition agreement also contains the longer-term goal of creating a permanent seat for the European Union. France is against it. The Chancellor repeated this proposal in June 2018 and Vice Chancellor O. Scholz even suggested recently (28.November 2018) to convert the seat of France into a seat of the EU in the medium term. However, the Federal Foreign Office immediately distanced itself from this proposal, which has not been repeated since. But it reappears regularly, for example in the last program of the CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, published on February 10 in Die Welt am Sonntag.

3. A realignment of the German position in favor of European defense policy?

On her return from the G7 summit in Taormina (May 2017), the Chancellor said, we Europeans really have to take our fate into our own hands ", because the times in which we could completely rely on others are partly over". Trade and defense issues were therefore at the center of the German-American bilateral difficulties in the summer of 2018. For Berlin, NATO and the US nuclear umbrella remain the pillars of German and European security (irreplaceable guarantor ”according to the coalition agreement). However, the German Chancellor is now calling for a multilateral approach to American unilateralism in trade and security issues to be retained. Vice Chancellor O. Scholz (SPD) also spoke out in favor of a stronger Europeanization of the arms industry.

Source: Report of the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defense on the Aachen Treaty.

3. The recent advances in Franco-German capacitive cooperation

Since the implementation of the roadmap for the follow-up of the projects approved within the framework of the DFVSR of July 13, 2017 Franco-German cooperation has made considerable progress in the area of ​​capabilities.

After the ministers signed letters of intent on the FCAS and the tank of the future (MGCS) at the Meseberg summit on June 19, 2018, On November 19, 2018 in Brussels, they determined the division of the management of these programs: Germany will take the lead at MGCS, France at FCAS.

In addition, the signing of a global EUROMALE contract targeted for the second half of 2020, subject to financial competitiveness. Finally, feasibility studies for the Sea Patrol Aircraft Program (MAWS) initiated after a letter of intent was signed at ministerial level on April 26, 2018.

In general, France and Germany are trying to use the potential of the new European instruments in the field of capabilities (Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), European Defense Fund (EVF)) by submitting numerous projects within a European framework (MALE UAV, ESSOR radio software or the Modernization of the standard Tiger III).

C. A SPANISH PARTNER HIGHLY MOTIVATED BY THE PROJECT

1. A strong bilateral defense and security relationship

France and Spain have long had good bilateral defense and security relations. This relationship was institutionalized in 2005 with the creation of the Franco-Spanish Defense and Security Council (CFEDS). It has also been implemented in defense cooperation agreements. In particular, the final declaration of the CFEDS in Brest in 2013 represents a roadmap showing the strong commitment of France and Spain to European defense (strengthening the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) in its strategic, operational, skills and industrial aspects) as well as for an approximation of operational capabilities in areas of common interest highlights: Mediterranean, Sahel, Gulf of Guinea and Horn of Africa. On June 25, 2018, Madrid also joined the European Intervention Initiative (EII).

On the operational side, Spain and France work together in several European missions: EUTM-Somalia, EUTM-Mali, EUTM-RCA, EUNAVFOR MED IRINI. The two countries also have joint actions in favor of the security forces of the Sahel countries within the framework of the G5 or through the "5 + 5 Défense" initiative, a forum for multilateral cooperation between the two coasts of the western Mediterranean with Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and France , Italy, Malta, Spain and Portugal.

With regard to industrial cooperation in defense, Spain's participation in major military programs began in the 1980s with the Euro? Ghter program and has continued through multilateral cooperation, in particular through its membership in the OCCAr. France and Spain are thus participating in several defense industry cooperation programs: Tiger, A400 M, European MALE drone, and now FCAS. Spain is general very much for European defense cooperation: As a leading contributor to EU operations, the country is now more Europe-focused than the United States in this area, and is particularly strong supporter of PESCO.

2. A valuable contribution to the FCAS

The entry of Spain into the project, after what was probably too pronounced an exclusively Franco-German phase, is therefore excellent news for the FCAS.

The French authorities initially preferred the Franco-German side to lay the foundations for the industrial and research partnership; Spain was only able to join the project with a slight delay. However, Spain's political determination to participate in the FCAS project is very strong: this participation was promised by the Rajoy government and confirmed immediately after the Sanchez government took office in mid-2018.

The confrontation between France and Germany, which is sometimes marked by misunderstandings, has thus become a game of three that reflects the diversity of European defense cultures and in which France, as the central country in Europe, can undoubtedly act as an intermediary between its two neighbors in the north and south if necessary.

D. A COOPERATION PROJECT FOR BUNDLING COSTS AND PROMOTING STRATEGIC AUTONOMY

The political interest of Franco-German cooperation is obvious, but it is undeniably more complex to develop a project in international cooperation than to develop it entirely internally. The mission interlocutors all reminded of the many difficulties encountered with European programs such as the A400M. Likewise, the precedent of France's withdrawal from the Eurofighter program in 1985, just a year and a half after the project began, followed by the launch of the Rafale rival project, is remembered. Technologically, and without minimizing the challenge involved, French industrialists would likely be able to carry out the entire FCAS project. It would be a very expensive option, however. Ultimately, the Franco-German-Spanish cooperation will make it possible to preserve France's strategic autonomy while at the same time relying on promising European strategic autonomy.

1. Probably too expensive a project for a single country

Most of the mission interlocutors took it for granted that a program like FCAS was unthinkable in a single country, so much so that the development costs of such a complex program would be beyond the reach of a single national budget. A fighter aircraft is more expensive to develop today than it was in the past, not to mention the development of an air metasystem like FCAS.

For example, the engine manufacturers selected for the project (Safran and MTU) recalled during their hearing that the United States had paid each of its two engine manufacturers (Pratt & Whitney and General Electric) over the past two years to maintain their lead to keep hot engine parts compared, for example, with the 115 million euro Turenne 2 ”upstream study program (PEA) that the DGA had notified Safran to consolidate its competencies. More generally, the simultaneous development of a new combat aircraft platform, a new engine, several types of drones and a specific combat cloud represents an extremely significant investment that seems very difficult for a single country.

International defense cooperation increases the amount of one-off costs (research and development) slightly, but also allows them Distribution among the partners thus reducing the total expenditure to be borne by each state. It also makes it possible based on the volume of the order more attractive unit prices (production costs can be reduced thanks to greater industrialization of the processes made possible by the volume of the series ordered). Finally, as the Court of Auditors stated in its 2018 report5(*) emphasizes that savings can also be made in the operational phase by bundling the support, especially in the industrial phase of maintaining the operational status of the equipment.

Cost sharing is therefore a necessityif the strategic autonomy of the individual member countries of the program in the field of air combat systems is to be preserved.

It should be noted that the Budget Act 2020 provides for commitment appropriations of 1.4 billion euros to cover the start of the first development activities of the demonstration program. The planned investments in the FCAS, parity between Paris and Berlin6(*), currently amount to around 4 billion euros by 2025-2026 (demonstrator) and 8 billion euros by 2030, followed by expenditure on industrialization. The total cost of the program is estimated by some analysts at 50 to 80 billion euros.

A contract for

A contract for

Estimated costs of

Estimated costs of

 
 
 
 

signed for the joint concept study

signed for level 1A

The demonstrator until 2026

by 2030

2. A project out of the need for strategic autonomy at national and European level

In addition to the financial aspect already mentioned, the convergence of the interests of France, Germany and Spain in the field of combat aircraft suggests that the three countries will better maintain their strategic autonomy through cooperation. It is also a bet on the future: that the program will allow Europe to have greater strategic autonomy beyond the three countries currently participating.

a) Become competitive again when exporting
(1) Objective of "exportability" from the beginning of the program

The cooperative structure of the FCAS at least ensures that the project participants at least buy the FCAS and not competing US productslike the F35 and its possible future variants.

In addition, as the Airbus representatives emphasized at their hearing, beyond the project participants' export capability "is already in the specifications: the aircraft as well as the remote carriers" must absolutely be attractive for export in order to reduce production costs and to raise European standards spread.

Although the three European fighter aircraft of the current generation (Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen) were successful in the export markets, Nevertheless, there is a general weakening of export capacity as a result of this divisionThis is undoubtedly paying off for the F35, which, despite all the criticism on the technical side, has been a very good export success so far. The cooperative development of an NGWS in Europe will therefore be a strong argument for its export. However, competition with the UK Tempest project would be a major disadvantage in this regard (see page).

(2) The necessary deITARization "(the necessary departure from the ITAR rules)

Strengthening strategic autonomy largely relates to that Problem of de-ITARization ", i.e. the lowest risk from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which allows the United States to oppose the export of equipment with American components. The ITAR regulation thus hangs like a sword of Damocles over many French export projects. Over the past few years we can spearhead the export of the SCALP missile to Egypt or the threat of various export projects to India, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, whether carried out or not. However, a large part of the equipment contains electronic components from American manufacturers; Most of the French aircraft in particular comply with the ITAR regulation. This problem is also shared by Germany and Spain. The FCAS project has therefore taken into account the need to be less dependent on ITAR regulations in the future7(*).

b) A collaborative project promoted by the changing international context.

The need for greater strategic autonomy, in the view of all interlocutors heard from the mission, is that too Result of the changing international context, which affects the three countries of the program equally and should encourage them to move closer together "in order to be able to better counter the threats posed by the power countries.

Brexit thus raises questions about the future positioning of Great Britain and the continuation of the armaments projects carried out jointly with this country.

Incidentally, the Change in American Attitude towards the European defense since the election of D. Trump as President of the USA contributed to shifting the German position to a position more favorable for the European defense. On her return from the G7 summit in Taormina (May 2017), the Chancellor said: We Europeans really have to take our fate into our own hands, because the times in which we could rely entirely on others are partly over. ”(See box above).

c) On the way to European strategic autonomy?
(1) A project with one dimension for European industry

Due to its extraordinary size (estimated between 50 and 80 billion euros), the FCAS can, according to Joël Barre, General Representative for Armaments, structure the entire defense instrument at European level and become a locomotive for European industry, also with many potential side effects in the civil sector.

According to Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space (ADS), who heard about the mission in Berlin, FCAS represents a unique opportunity to build on Europe's strengths: its great diversity, source of creativity and imitation. In his view, this enables projects to be carried out at the highest level at a lower cost than in the US for the same type of programs.

(2) A long-term challenge for Europe's strategic autonomy, which is about interoperability.

The transition from the strategic autonomy of France, Germany and Spain to strategic European autonomy is unlikely to be a given. It is above all a gamble: whether other European countries will join the project and buy the new system of systems.

A three-person project is already very complex. As the CEO of Dassault Aviation emphasized at his hearing, this core group of three must already be very stable for it to be sensible to consider expanding to other European countries.

The future link between the FCAS project and the European Union may in particular concern the new European defense instruments: Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), European Defense Industrial Development Program (EDIDP) and European Defense Fund (EDF):

· What the SSC As far as that is concerned, the projects have been selected in three stages since 2017. The last selection took place in November 2019, bringing the total number of these projects to 47. One of these projects is called EU Collaborative Warfare Capabilities (ECoWAR) and affects France, Belgium, Hungary, Romania, Spain and Sweden. The definition of this project, which is about cooperative warfare and networked platforms, affects all realms, not just the air. It is a forum in which the representatives of the states can identify the requirements for future capability needs and future deployment planning as well as the building blocks necessary for the development of cooperative struggle.

The ECoWar program is particularly important from the point of view of establishing interoperability with France's European partners, who have also opted for the F35, important: in this way, the restrictions that arise due to the lack of domestic interoperability of American aircraft can be compensated for. Several countries that find they cannot make the F35 interoperable with their other combat aircraft are therefore turning to this program, such as Belgium and Italy. In general, the ECoWar project aims to support the entire interoperability work of NATO (MNF)8(*) and Europe (ESSOR)9(*) to check, a European vision of interoperability move forward. Thus, the inclusion of the other European countries in the FCAS program could be achieved through this interoperability issue;

· As for the EDIDP, which includes funding of 500 million euros, including two tranches of 200 million euros for calls for tenders in 2019 and 2020, France is also carrying out cooperation projects in the field of aerial combat (equipment, training resources) and is thus trying to build networks with industrialists from other European countries on these topics on the verge of FCAS;

· Last but not least, a series of meetings will take place by the end of 2020 in order to provide a structure of the EVF to reach. The question of the new generation of fighter jets will necessarily be part of the discussions, as will most likely how the EVF could in one way or another overlap with the FCAS. Here, too, it will be important to have a broad, cooperative approach to system modules beyond the original members of the FCAS program.

Overall, the challenge is Find convergences between the multilateral and the collaborative approach. The European Commission will probably also want to make progress on defense issues, including cooperative warfare, through these Community instruments, in order to give them a more communal dimension: it will then be necessary to ensure that the FCAS itself remains coherent and sound and at that builds on the impulses emanating from the Commission. In addition, such a situation has already been tested with the Euromale UAV, that of the EDIDP with 90 million euros10(*) is supported.

d) The FCAS and NATO

NATO is not currently dealing directly with the FCAS issue. However, it is currently developing and standardizing within the framework of the interoperability rules (STANAG for data connections) for the air combat cloud of its member states, into which FCAS data connections must be integrated.

Incidentally, NATO is developing a program entitled Alliance Future Surveillance and Control“(AFSC), which is to replace AWACS and which is being financed by the alliance states with 120 million euros as a control and communication system. It will not be a single platform, but a meta system,