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Franklin

Captain
Germany and France wants to build a new fighter jet to replace even the Eurofighter and the Rafale. And its about time! Europe in my view is too dependent on the US for security both in terms of technology and platforms as well as depending on the Americans to protect Europe from potential external harms like Russia. This needs to end. If Europe wants to be taken seriously on the international stage then it will have to learn to defend itself. Real great powers like US, China and Russia don't have a single foreign military installation or foreign soldier on their soil. Europe is littered with American soldiers and installations. Europe wants to be a counterweight to great powers like the US and China. But Europe can't be an independent player in the world if its hides behind American skirts for its security.

But i'm affraid that i'm just a little bit too optimistic about this since most European leaders are ardent trans-atlanticists. This development may have been prompted by Trump and Brexit. But once those storms are over it will be back to business as usual.

France and Germany to develop new European fighter jet

France and Germany unveiled plans on Thursday to develop a European fighter jet, burying past rivalries as part of a raft of measures to tighten defense and security cooperation.

The move to develop a new warplane accelerates steps that are expected to shape the future of the European fighter industry and its three existing programs - the Eurofighter, France's Rafale and Sweden's Gripen.

The move also reflects efforts to give fresh impetus to Franco-German relations in the aftermath of Britain's decision to leave the European Union and was described by defense experts as a snub to Europe's leading military power..

France and Germany aim to come up with a roadmap by mid 2018 for jointly leading development of the new aircraft to replace their existing fleets of rival warplanes, according to a document issued after a Franco-German cabinet meeting in Paris.

"Today there are too many European standards and qualifications and sometimes there is competition among Europeans internationally," French President Emmanuel Macron told a news conference, flanked by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"I can confirm this is a deep revolution but we are not afraid when they are carried out peacefully, in a structured way and over time," Macron said.

France and Germany said their new combat system, which analysts say could involve a mixture of manned and unmanned aircraft, would replace the Rafale and Eurofighter, rival jets that compete fiercely for global sales.

That would mark the end of a decades-long split since France withdrew from the Eurofighter project in the 1980s to produce its Rafale warplane with Dassault Aviation.

Defense industry experts called the move a setback to Britain and its leading arms contractor, BAE Systems.

"It is a sign to the British. It means 'you are leaving the EU and we are driving forward. We are no longer interested in you blocking the EU on defense'," a senior German defense industry official told Reuters.

Britain Out on a Limb?

The joint declaration did not say what role, if any, Britain would play in the Franco-German-led development. The country is Europe's biggest defense spender and a partner in the Eurofighter project alongside Germany, Spain and Italy.

France and the United Kingdom - both permanent U.N. Security Council members with close defense and security ties - agreed to cooperate on nuclear and missiles technology in 2010, but some French officials have expressed concerns about the impact of Brexit on defense.

Some analysts and defense officials said the Franco-German push to create a new fighter could drive Britain further toward industrial and defense cooperation with the United States.

Currently, Britain has a foot in both camps through the Lockheed Martin F-35 and a share of the Eurofighter program through BAE.

"It is almost inevitable that the UK would consider a new partnership with America for the next generation of fighters," said Alexandra Ashbourne-Walmsley, associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a think-tank based in London.

"The UK has accepted that it can't build another fighter on its own, both as a natural evolution from the F-35 program and also because of economies of scale since having a small part of a U.S. project is worth more than a Franco-German program."

However, Thursday's declaration is also seen by some as just the opening move in a long and unpredictable European negotiation affecting defense firms including BAE and its Eurofighter partners Airbus and Leonardo.

Paris and Berlin also agreed to set up a cooperation framework for the next model of the Airbus Tiger attack helicopter and for tactical air-to-ground missiles.

In addition, they will work together on procuring ground systems including heavy tanks and artillery and said a contract was expected to be signed before 2019 for the military "Eurodrone" project, which also includes Italy.

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Pmichael

Junior Member
With Airbus being mainly a French-German company already - there aren't any alternatives left. Spain will also join the party mostlikely.

Also you can believe me Franklin. China and Russia would cut their left hand if it means to get such a close alliance of states like the Western world. The sad reality is that they are alone in this world.
 

taxiya

Colonel
Registered Member
Germany and France wants to build a new fighter jet to replace even the Eurofighter and the Rafale. And its about time! Europe in my view is too dependent on the US for security both in terms of technology and platforms as well as depending on the Americans to protect Europe from potential external harms like Russia. This needs to end. If Europe wants to be taken seriously on the international stage then it will have to learn to defend itself. Real great powers like US, China and Russia don't have a single foreign military installation or foreign soldier on their soil. Europe is littered with American soldiers and installations. Europe wants to be a counterweight to great powers like the US and China. But Europe can't be an independent player in the world if its hides behind American skirts for its security.

But i'm affraid that i'm just a little bit too optimistic about this since most European leaders are ardent trans-atlanticists. This development may have been prompted by Trump and Brexit. But once those storms are over it will be back to business as usual.



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I am with you in that I want to see Europe being a truly independent pole in a multi-polar world.

I also agree with you that this road is not easy. From my own experience with native Europeans in my residing country (a western European country), their sentiment was much less favorable towards Germany than UK and America which is understandable but also surprising to me in that the only way for Europe to be a great power is to getting closer to neighbors next door.

I am really interested to see and hear further news of this joint effort, a conceptual drawing would be nice.
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
New 4x4 armoured vehicles and 300mm MLRS rocket launchers in service with Belarus army.
Armed Forces of Belarus present new armoured vehicles during the military parade for the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus, July 3, 2017. During the parade, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has announced the boost for the defense capabilities of the country and the development of the local defense industry
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