Belgium Set to Join FCAS/SCAF Sixth Generation Fighter Program by June 2025

Belgium has officially committed to becoming the fourth partner nation in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/SCAF sixth generation fighter program, with an expected entry date of June 2025. This announcement comes after Belgium’s initial commitment to the project at the Paris Air Show in June.

Ludivine Dedonder, Belgium’s defense minister, shared the anticipated timeline in a recent LinkedIn post, highlighting the nation’s dedication to peace, stability, and innovation in defense. The move is seen as a crucial step towards global security, and Dedonder emphasized the collaborative effort to build a secure and prosperous future for Belgium and its partners.

In addition to joining as a full partner, Belgium is set to sign an FCAS observer status membership agreement next month. This agreement is considered a significant milestone in fostering international cooperation and innovation in defense.

Once Belgium formally joins the FCAS program, details regarding its role at both funding and industrial levels will be disclosed. The FCAS initiative involves leading companies such as France’s Dassault, Germany’s Airbus, and Spain’s Indra. These industry leaders are committed to developing a Next Generation Fighter (NGF), Remote Carriers, and a combat cloud—a multi-domain capable, data-rich network enabling cross-platform information sharing.

Belgium’s entry into the FCAS program has not been without controversy. Prior to Brussels’s decision to join, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier expressed opposition due to Belgium’s F-35 acquisition, which competed against Dassault’s pitch to replace F-16 jets with Rafale aircraft. Despite initial tensions, Belgium’s commitment to the FCAS program signifies a strategic alignment with European partners for the development of cutting-edge air combat capabilities.

As France, Germany, and Spain assess four NGF designs, the final selection is expected in the first quarter of 2025. The inclusion of Belgium in this collaborative effort strengthens the foundation for a unified and technologically advanced European defense network.

#FCAS #SCAF #BelgiumDefense #NextGenFighter #GlobalSecurity

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