France and Germany sign contract to develop fighter jet prototype
PARIS – On Thursday, a 150 million euro deal was signed between France and Germany to be used towards the development of the next-generation fighter jet prototype.
This project is seen to be vital for Europe to defend itself in an uncertain world without reliance on allies.
The aircraft will be built by Dassault Aviation and Airbus and shall be operational from 2040 in replacement of Dassault’s Rafale and Germany’s Eurofighter warplanes.
“This is a very ambitious project between France, Germany and joined by Spain. 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 defence.”
– Florence Parly, French Armed Forces Minister
The parliament of Germany has given its approval for the financing of the project last week. Spain is still in the initial phases and shall join the project towards later 2020 with an investment of 50 million euros.
The contract for the new Future Combat Air System (SCAF) includes the research and technology development for the prototype aircraft, its engine, drones to fly alongside the aeroplane and an air combat cloud.
The development of the prototype shall see an investment amounting to approximately 4 billion euros before 2026. The jet’s projection is expected to begin in 2040.
The fighter jet shall be built by Dassault and Airbus, the engine will be developed by Safranand MTU Aero Engines, Airbus and MBDA shall work on the drones while Airbus and Thales SA shall be in charge of the digital aspects.
There is competition for the project from Britain’s part which launched its new “Tempest” combat jet in 2018.
French officials anticipate a merger of both the projects.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.