Future French Aircraft Carrier Could Be A European Project

  • Our Bureau
  • 10:08 AM, March 12, 2019
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Future French Aircraft Carrier Could Be A European Project
Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier (Photo: indiandefence.com)

French Ministry of Defence’s aircraft carrier project launched in October last year could be a project that all countries belonging to the European Union (EU) could jointly work on.

France launched an 18-month long study worth €40 million ($45 million) for the eventual future replacement of the country’s aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle after 2030.

Decisions regarding the new carrier expected to last over fifty years will be taken beyond 2025, and one of the proposals for its replacement could be of building a common aircraft carrier for all EU member countries, an idea endorsed by Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

“It’s right and good that we have such equipment on the European side, and I’m happy to work on it,” Merkel was quoted by Reuters as saying Monday, referring to the common EU aircraft carrier project.

France and Germany are already working together on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program. French Dassault Aviation and German Airbus consortium signed an initial cooperation agreement in April 2018 to develop FCAS, leaving the door open for other European partners. The mission letter also stipulates that other partners, particularly European, can join the project. Spain joined the consortium in February this year.

The idea of the project was first proposed by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.

“The next step could be to start on the symbolic project of building a common European aircraft carrier express the global role of the EU as a power ensuring security and peace,” Kramp-Karrenbauer wrote in an opinion piece for a German newspaper on Sunday.

Kramp-Karrenbauer then made the proposal in a weekend response to the French President’s proposals for European reform, ukdj reported Monday.

Though it is currently unclear if the proposal is for a jointly operated vessel or for a common class, the latter however appears the least likely due to the cost, the report stated further.