France, Germany, Spain reached an agreement on FCAS
French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, and her German and Spanish counterparts, namely Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and María Margarita Robles Fernández, reported the “finalization of discussions on the content of the next phase of the NGWS/FCAS program, which should lead by 2027 to the first flight of a new generation combat aircraft demonstrator.”
With the agreement, the question of the division of tasks is solved. The statement does not include the concessions made. The joint statement of the ministers reads:
“The industrial organization of the program has been determined in such a way as to ensure the coherence and effectiveness of the project, by bringing together the most advanced skills of industrialists in each country within a balanced, broad and thorough.”
Following the Franco-German Council on defence and security held on February 5, 2021, German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced her concern that German manufacturers were being undermined.
“It is a project under French leadership, but it is still necessary that the German partners can be at a satisfactory level vis-à-vis their partners,” Merkel stressed. “We must therefore see the questions of industrial property, the sharing of tasks, and the sharing of leadership very precisely.”
France Germany and Spain have long-standing agreement and disagreement. All three countries joined the A400M air lifter project. The Eurofighter project however started as the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme in 1983. France left the consortium to develop the Dassault Rafale independently.