Spain, Belgium and Italy have shown interest in a European fighter jet project announced by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July.
Airbus Defence and Space chief executive Dirk Hoke said Friday that France and German should "quickly" move forward with plans for a joint European fighter jet system to replace their current fighter jet fleet which may become obsolete in "about 15 years' time".
"On the assumption that the necessary political will is in place, Airbus is offering to drive cooperation with its European partners and to shape this aspect of our common European future," Hoke said in an op-ed published in Griephan Briefe, a German defence weekly.
European countries should jointly develop the next generation fighter jets to avoid becoming too reliant on US technology, he said. Such a partnership would save money and remove competition between different jets currently on the market.
"To date, the countries of Europe have indulged in expensive customized national solutions or have made their means of national defence dependent on the USA," Hoke said in an obvious reference to French forces using the Rafale jet manufactured by French Dassault, while Germany uses the Typhoon made by the Eurofighter consortium and other European nations use American planes such as the F-18, F-16 and F-35.
Hoke’s call may be difficult to implement for European nations such as Belgium, Norway, Finland, Turkey, UK, Italy and the Netherlands which have invested into the F-35 program. Germany itself is considering the F-35 as part of its fighter replacement program.
In addition, France has lucrative international orders for its Rafale jet while the Eurofighter Typhoon has international sales predominantly in the Middle East.
A dozen US Air force F-35A stealth fighter aircraft will arrive next month at Kadena Air Base, on Japans southern island of Okinawa, for its first deployment in Asia-Pacific region. More than 300 airmen from the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah — including pilots, maintainers and other personnel — will deploy to Kadena to support the F-35A aircraft for its six-month deployment schedule, Pacific Air Forces announced
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Dassault and Airbus who are jointly developing the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS), have sought that participating European governments move forward by launching the programmes demonstrator phase. Two years ago, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to jointly develop the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS)
Leonardo announced today the signature of the grant agreement for OCEAN2020, a project related to the initiative to boost Europe's defence research under the European Defence Fund. "OCEAN2020 will make it possible to promote technological research in a sector of great interest and relevance for Europe and for the Mediterranean area in particular, such as maritime safety,” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo
Airbus offices were raided by French investigators last week as part of an on-going corruption probe over a 2010 sale of satellites to Kazakhstan. “We confirm a raid was carried out at Airbus offices in the Paris suburb of Suresnes in the context of the French judicial investigation relating to Kazakhstan,” an Airbus spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters Tuesday
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