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France and Germany Sign Contract For EU’s Next-Gen Fighter Jet, Vow To Rely Less On Washington

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France and Germany Sign Contract For EU's Next-Gen Fighter Jet, Vow To Rely Less On Washington

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On February 20th, France and Germany signed a 150 million euro ($161.84 million) deal to develop a prototype of the next generation fighter jet.

This is another attempt by Europe to become more self-sufficient in defending itself and end its decade-long dependence on US deployments, which seem to be getting bigger as time goes by.

Dassault Aviation and Airbus will build the aircraft, which is expected to be operational from 2040 with a view to replacing Dassault’s Rafale and Germany’s Eurofighter warplanes.

“This is a very ambitious project between France, Germany and joined by Spain,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told reporters after a signing ceremony.

“It will enable our nations to face the threats and challenges in the second half of the 21st century … and illustrates our will and ambition for a European defense.”

The German parliament approved the funding on February 12th, voting to pay 77 million euro ($83 million), for the first prototypes of a “new generation fighter” for European armed forces.

In addition to giving the project the green light, German lawmakers also tied conditions to the plan, including a request for a German-led tank development initiative to go alongside the FCAS project.

“We are going to do it because we don’t want to worsen Franco-German relations, especially just before Emmanuel Macron comes to the Munich Security Conference,” Reinhard Brandl, the parliamentary representative for the project said.

Following the Bundestag vote, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer tweeted that concrete action on European security and defense policy is necessary.

“We need European security and defense policy not only on paper, but in concrete action – especially between, I am pleased that today together with the Bundestag we are taking an important step towards Fighter aircraft of the future.”

The new Future Combat Air System’s (FCAS) contract includes the initial research and technology for the prototype aircraft, the engine, drones to accompany the warplane and an air combat cloud.

The prototype will see total investment of about 4 billion euros before it is completed in 2026. Production of the jet is due to begin in 2040.

The project faces competition from Britain, which in 2018 launched its own plans for a new combat jet dubbed “Tempest”.

According to Reuters, unnamed French officials have said that they hope the Tempest and the FCAS would be merged into one eventually.

Industry executives have urged European capitals to move swiftly or risk losing out in a global market to bigger players.

This is another example of the EU attempting to, at least partially, distance itself from the US in terms of defense and security and rely less on its support, and have to succumb to its pressure less as a result.

During the Munich Conference, it became quite apparent that the EU is skeptical in Washington’s ability to deliver on security and on the honesty of its presumed diplomatic and military policy, judging by the reaction to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s speeches.

“Under its current administration, our closest ally, the United States of America, rejects the very concept of an international community,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in the conference’s opening speech.

“Every country, it believes, should look after itself and put its own interests before all others. As if everyone thinking of himself meant that everyone is being considered,” he said, according to an official transcript.

“‘Great again’ – even at the expense of neighbors and partners,” Steinmeier said, referring to Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Thus, it should be expected that likely more and more projects could be initiated between the EU countries, without involving the US in them.

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  • hvaiallverden

    Sweeeeeet.

    Yeah, how cute isnt it to hear and watch stupid bitches haggle, why dont we give them some pillows, so they can at least, be intresting to watch, what they most say, have absolutely nothing of value since they are been run by the Yankikes in the imperial banana republic Dumbf…istan, because we all know, once an stupid bitch, always an stupid bitch, and this, well, is another nothing, eh…. bugbed burger, since we live in an world run by our glorious Missias Greate the Glorious.
    Sieg Hail.

    peace

  • Simplekindof Man

    Last project failed.
    From one it split to two…
    Eurocrap-Rafale.
    It just a scheme to keep cash flowing
    See “green deal” crap etc
    Eurobrats at work.

    • Barba_Papa

      Both Rafale and Eurofighter made it from the drawing board to the airfield. I’d say not at all a failure. The problem for Eurofighter at least is that each participating country has different tactical doctrines and standards. To make one aircraft fit all you need to cram a lot of compromises into the design. We see that too with the F-35, because for all intents and purposes the USAF, USN and USMC are basically independent nations with different tactical doctrines and standards as well. Because of this these multi-national/service programs, which are touted to save money, end up costing more. On the plus side, and I think this is probably the most attractive reason to participate, once you commit it becomes very hard for politicians who want to cut corners and save a quick buck to cut the program. Especially the UK has a very long and not so proud history of politicians cutting defense programs, forcing the armed forces to look for alternatives. Had Typhoon been a UK defense program only it would never have made it from prototype to actual aircraft. It’s the billions of penalties that have to be paid to the other partners which keep the politicians from cutting the program and allow the armed services to still get their toys.

      Since German politicians suffers from the same cutting programs disease as UK politicians I reckon that German generals are desperate for partnerships with other countries so they will still get something to play with. And at least the French can build something that works.

      • Simplekindof Man

        Nope they started as a joint venture and split because France wanted the upper hand on design specs if memory serves me.
        That is why the Rafael ended up looking so different then the demonstrator the venture originated from.
        Anyway Google is there for all.

    • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

      Technically some of the projects failed, but the knowledge and knowhow gained from those “failed projects” actually helped the countries to gain more independence form the US.

      The Eurofighter is a huge success, giving each participant enormous amount of experience and an actuall very capable platform.

      I would pick “Made in and delivered from Germany” anyday above “Profit ends in USA”.
      Germany knows how to build stuff and deliver them.
      And perhaps one day, Germany can say to the US: “BTW yanks, Geh Raus”

      The only “scheme to keep cash flowing” is the F-35.

      • Simplekindof Man

        It’s a fallacy. I’d buy from anyone who’d be my staunch ally than support a neighbor who is constantly backstabbing.(Germany)

        • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

          I respectfully disagree with you.

          • Simplekindof Man

            And I respectfully with you,but Germany?
            No way, clearly aligned with turkey and a business partner no matter what the consequences for the region.

          • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

            I think beyond politics, im talking about the actually quality of the hardware.
            The political side of the case is something else.

          • Simplekindof Man

            That is also debatable.
            Germany has success in mass production.
            They are better at marketing than in quality and technology,apart from a few distinguished companies.
            Germany sells more package than substance.
            I absolutely stand by this in my line of work. I had the opposite and naive opinion when I started out,I soon came to my senses.
            Ps.When comparing apples to apples

          • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

            After serving in the Royal Danish Army and done a tour i Iraq, Basrah region, i can tell you that british and US made weapons and equipment have a higher rate of failure than others.

            I have shot thousands upon thousands of round with G3, MG3, MP49, Carl Gustavs, C6, C7 and Neuhasens, and the German weapons only fail if you mess up.
            The C6 and C7 fails whenever a piece of dirt or foreign object gets inside, the german ones does not, they just sounds weird for a shot or two and then continues.

            Our PMR radios had a remote that trickered RSB/IED, our jammers failed to jam anything, even ordinary cellphones, IRCM for PIR´s overheating the powersupply releasing smoke and toxic fumes, oil for our C6 and C7 failed in the heat, magazines for those weapons wore out after a few months use “exploding” (bottom falls out and then the spring inside goes apeshit together with 28 rounds, yes 28 not 30, because the lips could not hold the rounds back) in your magholders and when loaded.

            Our Mercedes GD 270´s got us home after being peppered; gearbox hit, no oil left, selfsealing diesel tanks, engine compartment was proof against 7,62mm Dragunov rounds.
            Our MG3 could be shot and aimed accurately without oil or covered in that special Iraq dust (just as fine as flour), our Leopard 2 in Afghanistan survived several RPG attacks, even a AT mine.
            Our M113 shook so much that it gave you kidney damage and diarea (Wich is a deathsentence in a desert).

            Never ever will i pick US or british made equipment over German made.
            US made stuff is like Crapple products: overpriced, overhyped, underperforming.
            Stuff aint better just because it costs more or because it has more computerchips in it; soldiers just want something reliable and easy to use.

          • Simplekindof Man

            I have to agree for the
            G3 mg3 mercedes(although if it cut a cam chain you wouldn’t be going far….).I wouldn’t personally know about the rest.
            But that’s different.I also prefer a 40 year old Ferguson to a 2016 Lamborghini tractor or a 608 Merc to a new atego when shit hits the fan.
            Especially if it was to sustain damage in the middle of the ..field.I was talking general consumer products.
            Apples to apples…

          • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

            I thought we where talking about military equipment and not civilian stuff.
            Pardon for the misunderstanding.
            I dont know much about the German or US consumer products, allthough most of it, including US, is probally made elsewhere, china, poland, taiwan, india etc with the US and Germany the final place of assembly, thats how they cheat and trick you.

            Produced in, manufactured in and assembled in has three different meanings.

          • Simplekindof Man

            My bad should have defined better. Yes, globalisation…
            But for example
            I’d still pick a toyota over ANY german car….

          • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

            Its ok.

            Sorry, no experience on the HK G36, only two versions of the MP5´s, cant remember wich one, the short one and the one with the buttstock, dont know if that narrows it down or…

          • Simplekindof Man

            I was wondering about the G36 because of the “melting.”rumors

        • Bru

          The US a staunch ally??
          for whom except Israeli interests?
          Or do you live in Tel Aviv??

          And to buy what? F35 pigs, full of bugs and failing to meet so many required specs??

          • Simplekindof Man

            “anyone”and “US” are synonyms and I don’t know?

  • <>

    It’s okay, they are useless allies anyway and they only care about oil and money. Not a big loss.

    • Bru

      For once I agree with you.

    • LR captain

      that’s the US for you.

  • Ross

    A much more cost effective defence strategy for Germany would be to build a few border posts.

    • TTdr

      Or just buy cheaper China export version JF31 & Russia SU57? They are more superior than F35 that cant fly far & fast, can’t turn, carry least weapons & cost double.

  • Simplekindof Man

    This proves what I’ve been saying all along.
    Turkey was never on the Russian boat.
    They’re just opportunistic as they have always been.

  • Peter Jennings

    European countries have been fighting amongst themselves for thousands of years. To suggest that european countries haven’t perfected the art of defending themselves is a misnomer.

    The British should develop the Harrier and bring that up to date. It’s a no brainer to have a modern fighter that doesn’t need the expanse of a runway.

    • Simplekindof Man

      The British rightfully are going their own way.
      They have or at least had perfect capability.

      https://youtu.be/ozl3L9fhKtE
      I will object on the harrier thing but ok.

      • Peter Jennings

        The Harrier idea was important enough for the US to spent billions trying to have their very own.

        • goingbrokes

          Harrier was a brilliant plane for its time, and perfect force multiplier for a naval power. It is good for special ops too, and that’s why USMC had to have it.
          Russia and China could make one of their own but strategically they don’t really need one. The gap between Sukhois/Migs and brilliant helicopters isn’t big enough to warrant a huge development project.
          Now that manpads have been developed and are widely available Harrier’s lack of top speed would be an additional challenge to overcome. So basically the need for a Harrier type plane has reduced significantly. Conceptually it still remains very attractive.

  • verner

    half of the contents in those flying machines hail from a company headquartered in the disunited states of A and the minute europe displeases the incumbent moron he can shut down any and all deliveries to the european manufacturer – called sanctions.

  • TTdr

    Prototype 2025 but MP in 2040…when China already set foot on moon by 2030 & descent on Mars by 2040.

    It will be another obsolete 5G fighter with 20yrs old airframe and design by 2040. While China & Russia already flying 6G fighters and prototyping 7G.

  • You can call me Al

    As a side issue the British and Swedish have also teamed up for their own version of the next generation fighter.

  • goingbrokes

    They could’ve tried to make that model slightly less looking like the piece-of-s%#t F-35.

    • goingbrokes

      Additionally, now that Brexit has happened France will push for a European based military air industry. That’s got to be a good thing, even though E(Soviet)U is still a basket case.

    • TTdr

      All air frame goes to wind tunnel to optimize. They will end up almost similar if to serve same purpose, so why reinvent wheel.

      British 6G prototype mock up look different from everyone. So has to wait & see.

      Jp 5G fighter FX tried to look different but no technology, so its a failed project.

      Chinese J20 is designed as long distance bomber to penetrate & destroy enemy air defense, to destroy USAF reconnaissance & refuel jets. So its double huge size for a 5G fight, with a conard wing for extra dynamic air lift and superior long distance radar. JF31 is to serve like F35 as export version multi role, so it ended look like F35.

      Russia SU57 is a flop, neither here nor there, so it wanted to sell to India. let’s wait for next MiG to see if it look like F35.

  • TTdr

    Germans should go alone to make its best fighter jet once again as it can well afford.

    France has good technology, but no budget yet want to be boss.

    British has some of best technology, but is in a mess with hollow out industry. Look at its best car industry. Its new aircraft carrier is plagued with troubles. defense budget is peanut.

    Team up with Spain, they will deliver another 2nd grade Eurofighter2.0. as a joke in 2040, like India new 3G Tejas after 30yrs development, costing double of F16 Block2 price.

  • jm74

    Don’t know why they bother, at the current rate of events and EU cowardice they may not even be around by 2040.