The development of the Next Generation European Air System is starting with a large programme of Technology Development for risk reduction.
This Technology Development Programme started in 1997 as a bilateral programme between France (for the FACE programme “Futur Avion de Combat Européen”) and UK (for the FOAS programme). The Technology Development Programme was prepared by some 70 industries from both countries and Joint Ventures have been established to perform the MoD's funded different projects within the necessary security constraints.
In 1999, a second step was made with the joining of Germany and Sweden to share the technologies: a 4 Nation study has completed the Programme with the additional Requirements requested by these two countries. This 4-Nation study was performed to prepare the ETAP programme that will cover the period 2000- 2009/10.
For the future, other countries are planned to join the effort, such as Italy and Spain.