A plan for the industrial and technological base of future European military aerospace moved forward with the signing of a contract for a one-year study to be conducted by Sweden’s Saab group. Alexander Weis, chief executive of the European Defence Agency, and Mats Palmberg, vice president and head of business development and marketing for Saab Aeronautics, signed the agreement, valued at approximately $512,000, here at the Farnborough show.
Saab has been commissioned to map out Europe’s current military aerospace and industrial landscape, and identify gaps where research-and-development projects should be initiated to provide the necessary technology needed for the continent’s Future Air System (FAS). Under the FAS4Europe contract, Saab is to report back to the European Defence Agency in October 2011.
Although the Swedish manufacturer leads the project, most of Europe’s major aerospace players are involved as subcontractors. The full name of the study is, “The future of the European military aerospace Defence Technological Industrial Base (DTIB)– MilAerospace 2035+”.
FAS4Europe is intended to identify key areas for technological investment so the DTIB can completely meet Europe’s requirements within the 2035 timeframe. The EDA is also mindful of Europe’s place in the global marketplace and, according to Weis, “The ultimate goal [of FAS4Europe and subsequent pilot programs] is to maintain, or establish, a worldwide competitive European aerospace industry.” While the FAS4Europe will study the industry across the DTIB, two areas that have been singled out for special attention are helicopters and UAVs.