France, Germany, and Sweden launch a new medium airlifter program
The European Defence Agency (EDA) supports the agreement as part of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework, which will allow the definition of the aircraft that will operate alongside the A400M fleet beginning in 2040. The recently announced agreement will oversee the development of a new platform that will replace the C-130 Hercules and Casa CN-235 airframes in the three countries' fleets by 2040.The European Defence Fund document explains a need for a new medium tactical European aircraft, lighter than the A400M, that could provide a complementary capacity for tactical transport.PESCO describes the FMTC as a project to improve the air mobility capabilities of EU member states' armed forces. The project aims to "face collectively and efficiently the upcoming transport challenges in military operations or crisis response situations," including on narrow and short unprepared strips. The aircraft will feature self-protection systems for electronic warfare.