Germany and the UK are at loggerheads over the former blocking the export of MBDA’s Meteor long range air-to-air missile for use on Saudi Arabia’s Eurofighter Typhoons.
Berlin is understood to have blocked the sale citing German-made components in the missile as it is opposed to Saudi Arabia’s use of the Meteor-mounted Typhoons in the Yemen conflict and over the Jamal Khashoggi affair.
The contract for the export of the MBDA -made Meteor to Saudi is estimated to be worth US$1 billion, LAtribune.fr reported quoting unnamed sources. Some key components of the Meteor are made by Bayern-Chemie and TDW which are subsidiaries of MBDA in Germany.
The German ban comes at a time when France and Germany are discussing the development of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), an European project to develop a fifth generation fighter jet for which missiles made the European consortium MBDA will form the main offensive component.
French companies are decidedly cut-up over Berlin’s action; comparing it with the US ban on sale of the Scalp missile to Egypt sold as part of the Dassault Rafale deal (which was subsequently lifted) and want to develop by themselves components made in Germany for MBDA.
While French firms want guarantees that there will be no restrictions on the export of defence equipment made under collaborative programs, German political parties- SPD and the Greens have pitched for common restrictive rules where export restrictions could be imposed in certain cases.