The FCAS Challenge highlights the innovative technology of spanish startups, smes and technological centers that can contribute to the future european air combat system

January 24, 2024 - Artificial Intelligence, distributed services for the combat cloud, radio frequency, low observability technologies and interconnected sensors are just some of the latest advanced technologies that are being incorporated into the framework of the FCAS, Europe’s largest collaborative defence program, which is developing the continent’s future air combat system. 

As the industrial coordinator of the FCAS program in Spain, Indra, one of the leading global technology and consulting companies, has gone one step further in the development of phase 1B of the project and launched the FCAS Challenge, an initiative that provides an opportunity to attract the talent and innovation of Spanish startups, SMEs and technological centers which are not always associated with the defence sector for the development and maturing of cutting-edge technologies within the framework of the FCAS.

The call received more than 80 proposals from 70 entities in 14 of Spain’s 17 Autonomous Communities. Eight of them received an honorable mention from the panel of judges at an event held in Madrid attended by leading companies, senior representatives of Indra’s FCAS program and the Spanish Ministry of Defence, as well as members of the International Steering Committee and the International Combined Project Team (CPT).

The FCAS program, with participation by Spain, France and Germany in equal parts, is developing a system of systems consisting of a new-generation fighter teamed up with a series of remote operators, all of them connected and working as a single unit thanks to the combat cloud, which interconnects the ensemble and other air, ground, naval and satellite platforms in real time.

The result will be a paradigm shift in the sector with a major technological and industrial impact. It will reinforce Europe’s competitiveness and technological sovereignty in key areas such as aeronautics, unmanned vehicles, digital technologies, big data and artificial intelligence, providing Europe with centers specializing in dual-use technologies. It will generate thousands of direct and indirect highly-skilled jobs in Spain alone.

The FCAS Challenge addresses the aim of the FCAS program to be a backbone project with a major impact on the industrial ecosystem, in this case, that of Spain.

The startups, SMEs and technological centers that have received the distinction are listed below, by category and geographical area:

•    Mission Sensors: Beamagine (Catalonia) and EM3works (Galicia).

•    Signal Intelligence: Multiverse Computing (Basque Country) and Pixels-Hub (Asturias).

•    Smart Communications: Red Skios LTD (Community of Madrid).

•    Combat Cloud: Gradiant (Galicia), in partnership with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (Centro Nacional de Supercomputación) (Catalonia), Byevolution Creative Factory (Andalusia) and The REUSE Company (Knowledge Centric Solutions) (Community of Madrid).

Final event

During the closing event of the call, Borja Ochoa, Indra’s director general of Defence and Security, underlined that participation in the FCAS Challenge is “highly beneficial for the development of the FCAS, as it’s committed to new players that can consolidate technological capabilities and mature more innovative ones” and stressed that “this project is a watershed within the most ambitious defence program to date in Spain and Europe”.

Major General José Antonio Gutiérrez Sevilla, deputy director general of programs of the DGAM (Directorate-General for Armament and Materiel) of the Ministry of Defence, pointed out that “the FCAS program is a driving force of the defence industry and, with this same aim, “the FCAS Challenge fosters not only innovation but also collaboration among large corporations and small firms. The success of initiatives such as this helps to boost the participation of new companies in this transformative project.”

With its FCAS Challenge initiative, Indra reaffirms its standing as a driving force of the Spanish defence industry and ensures that the FCAS will be an unprecedented ultra-innovative technological challenge that goes far beyond an aeronautical defence project.

About Indra

Indra (  is one of the leading global technology and consulting companies and a world leader in technological engineering for the aerospace, defence and mobility markets, while it leads digital transformation and information technology consultancy in Spain and Latin America through its subsidiary, Minsait. It’s the technological partner for the digitalization and key operations of its customers’ businesses around the world thanks to its model, which is based on a comprehensive range of proprietary products with an integrated high-value approach and a high degree of innovation. Sustainability forms part of its strategy and culture in order to address social and environmental challenges now and in the future. In the 2022 financial year, Indra achieved ordinary revenue totaling 3,851 million euros, with more than 57,000 employees, a local presence in 46 countries and business operations in over 140 countries.


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