Futura Sciences reports about possible ways forward for Ariane Next.
Two hypotheses are highlighted.Scenario 1:
The Ariane 6 family proofs adequate for the demand of ESA and sat operators for the next 20 - 30 years.
In this case only an evolution would be required. Under consideration: Ariane 6.6 (6 SRB, 13 tons to GTO) to meet increasing satellite masses combined with (or instead of): 1a) an replacement of Vulcain 2.1 with Prométhée, 2b) an upgraded version of th Vinci upper stage engine.Scenario 2:
The market for mega constellations takes off, a Soyuz-like launch cadence of 50 launches per year is required.
This isn't considered achievable with Ariane 6, the answer would be an all new launcher with that lists several of the buzzwords I already mentioned in my earlier post (launcher least partially re-usable, upper stage re-use (3 to 5 round trips) achieved with re-fuelling in orbit, high-cadence production that is flexible if the market contracts).
Full article: Ariane Next : à quoi ressemblera le successeur d’Ariane 6
To me this sounds like the typical European 'hedging of bets' and 'waiting to see what the other side does'.