The European Air Group Works 4th and 5th Generation Air Combat Integration



Recently, the European Air Group held a working group which continued their work on 4th and 5th generation integration which is viewed as crucial with 5th generation aircraft here now.

The 2016 two-day 4th 5th Generation Integration Information Forum was held at the home of the EAG, RAF High Wycombe, at the end of April 2016.

With national 5th Generation aircraft programs maturing and the need to integrate 4th and 5th generation aircraft into future coalitions acknowledged the forum is providing a vital conduit to keep information flowing between both EAG nations and external partners and increase the awareness of nations about the challenges to come.

The first day saw experts from academia and industry set the scene with their interpretation of the technological and political developments that are going to shape the future of air power and more specifically the challenges of integrating 4th and 5th generation multi-national air forces into that vision.

The second day opened the floor to a discussion between the individual EAG nations present, Tactical Leadership Program (TLP), Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC); European Union Military Staff (EUMS) and the USAF that was being represented for the first time at an EAG 4th 5th Generation Forum.


The debate focused on the specific challenges being experienced at a national program level whilst also providing an overview of the future Air Force compositions.

The identification of the common challenges being experienced with this cutting edge evolution of the approach to, and employment of, air power is key to the development of future collaborative solutions.

National representatives were able to take away key areas for further consideration and investigation that when resolved will be fundamental to enhancing interoperability between the nations.

The 4th 5th Generation Integration Information Forum will continue to provide a crucial communication channel between the EAG nations as the next generation of combat aircraft are brought into service in Europe.

The kick-off briefing at the April 28th session was provided by Dr. Robbin F. Laird of Second Line of Defense.

The initial session was held in November 2014 at High Wycombe.

Honoring interoperability as our essence, the EAG Steering Group held in Breda, The Netherlands on 16 May 2014 tasked the Permanent Staff to analyze the challenges of operating 5th generation fighter aircraft alongside legacy 4th generation aircraft in a coalition environment.

 In November 2014, the EAG hosted a two-day seminar with three clear objectives: (1) identify 4th/5th generation aircraft integration challenges at an unclassified level, (2) evaluate the need to harmonize a number of these challenges at a Multinational level and (3) determine a potential role for the EAG in resolving these challenges.

 With the presence of representatives from the EAG nations and the Tactical Leadership Program (TLP), the seminar began with an opening address given by Dr. Robbin F. Laird, a long-time analyst of global defence issues currently focusing his work on analysing the evolution of fifth generation aircraft systems and the emergence of fifth generation warfare. Dr. Laird set up the appropriate strategic framework to allow further discussions.

 This EAG initiative to establish practical steps to think through and shape the impact of the arrival of 5th gen aircraft on current 4th gen-based European airpower is considered a unique and worthwhile effort that will be further developed during 2015 with a second seminar.

See also the following:

The European Air Group and Typhoon Integration: Shaping a Way Ahead for More Effective Operational Impacts