The kick-off of the new European fighter jet project has ushered in a new era. But the clock is ticking; for the development of a new combat aircraft takes about 20 years from initial studies to entry into service. Therefore, fundamental political decisions are necessary already today.
MTU and Safran are already working on the definition of the engine today. Moreover, the two companies are seeking to enter into a Franco-German partnership for this game-changing engine project. For the technology developments kicked off in 2016 – that is, even before the political decision in favor of the joint development of the new fighter aircraft was made – to be concluded between 2024 and 2026, all politics and industry parties involved will need to step up their efforts over the coming years. Intense preparation started anytime soon is absolutely essential for industry to be able to complete the design, material procurement, assembly and management as well as the tests for engine certification by the year 2031. The fighter jet prototypes could fly, and military certification be obtained, between 2031 and 2040. Deliveries of the aircraft could begin in 2040.