Why is the industrial sharing around FCAS so complicated? And how to solve the problem?

In an interview given to the Tribune, Dirk Hokke, CEO of Airbus Defense & Space, estimated that his company should take over the management of the “System of Systems” program of the Franco-German FCAS, immediately causing emotion in the French ranks, ministry and DGA in the lead, who would see many advantages Thales in charge of this aspect.

The recurring problem of industrial sharing in Defense cooperation

As with most cooperative programs, the issue of industrial sharing is crucial in the FCAS project. But the very nature of the program makes this sharing much thornier, and the reactions quickly epidermal.

Indeed, the FCAS is today the only program aiming at designing an air warfare system in France as in Germany for the 50 years to come. However, both countries have an industry that can, little by little, design the system. In fact, the arbitration that will be rendered will almost certainly condemn an ​​industry to fade from this strategic sector, for which it has previously invested significant amounts to acquire the know-how and processes necessary for its positioning.

We find, then, the same difficulties vis-à-vis the FCAS, as those encountered by Naval Group and Fincantieri for their merger, with Leonardo and Thales as arbiter: the resulting market is too weak to support the full activity of the two ecosystems. .

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