What consequences for France if the FCAS and Tempest programs merged?

After his German counterpart Lt General Ingo Gerhartz, it is the turn of General Luca Goretti, the Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, to declare that, according to him, the European programs of 6th generation combat aircraft FCAS (for Air Combat System of the Future ) which brings together Germany, Spain and France, and FCAS (for Futur Combat Air System, the same acronym) which brings together Great Britain, Italy and Sweden, will be called to merge in the more or less near future. According to the Italian general officer, given the industrial and budgetary issues, and the proximity of programs, industrial players and countries, their merger is not only desirable, but it would also be the guarantor to carry out this European ambition, and to consider that Italy, which simultaneously has a foothold in the EU, in NATO and in the Tempest program, could serve as a bridge precisely to bring these ambitions closer together.

For now, the two programs are still in the initial design phase. However, this did not prevent significant tensions from appearing, particularly within the FCAS program, with German and Spanish requirements difficult to reconcile with French ambitions, leading to more than heated debates at the start of 2021 with the fear of seeing the program abandoned, or significantly slowed down as is the case with the other emblematic program of Franco-German cooperation, the MGCS program which must make it possible to replace the Leclerc tanks and Leopard 2 of both armies. Eventually, a hard-fought negotiated deal was reached in late spring, in time for the Bundestag to authorize funding for the prototype design phases, not without some defiant positions on the part of German parliamentarians. However, it is clear that the two programs do indeed follow a similar timetable and technological and operational ambitions, making it possible to envisage a merger or even a merger. But what would be, in such a hypothesis, the consequences for the developments themselves, on the required operational capacities, and on the defense industries in France?

In an ideal world ...

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