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“The FCAS program will entail a tremendous development opportunity for the Spanish industry, and it will consolidate the sector’s position in the competitive arena introduced by the new Europe with its focus on Defence,” said Manuel Rodríguez Cerezo, CAS program director at Indra, at the work meeting convened by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), an EU entity that channels the funding and supports applications for national and international RDI projects of Spanish companies.

Rodríguez Cerezo pointed out that the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program is at the heart of the driving forces in all kinds of national technological capabilities – not only military – and that it shows a mature and pragmatic approach on the part of the State regarding its support for Research and Development (R&D) within Spanish companies. The program means a “considerable fast-tracking and will have tremendous impact in new dual-nature technology development – which can be marketed to both the military and civilian spheres – big data, artificial intelligence and advance simulation techniques being just a few of them.”

According to Rodríguez Cerezo, it also benefits from “an enviable inter-ministerial coordination structure, which ensures focus, budget, prominence, industrial planning and a cross-cutting vision of all the program.” He affirmed that the Government has displayed “tremendous determination and courage in adhering to the program during its earliest stages, which will in turn translate into tremendous technological development for the country.”

FCAS will also provide the stability that the sector needs in order to tackle its digital transformation and to foster and facilitate its international business projection and global supply chain integration, Rodríguez Cerezo said. Companies, universities and other research bodies will work in the earliest stages of technological development, which will pose an important challenge.

Rodríguez Cerezo considers that the FCAS will transform the business model of many companies in our country, so that R&D and product and proprietary technology development can become the new driving force for growth. It will also serve as a lever to place them at the heart of the European Defence market, which will be seeing an influx of billions of euros in investment in the coming years.

Dorothee Frank