Germany may ditch £90billion fighter jet project with France in favour of UK ... trends now
Germany may ditch its £90 billion fighter jet project with France in favour of a UK deal.
The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, is in discussions about removing Germany’s veto on a delivery of Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia, which the UK considers important strategically.
A pact of this nature would amount to a coup for the UK and reflect a progressively intensifying rift between Germany and France, with the two nations holding contrasting views on issues including air defence to diplomatic protocol and energy.
Scholz has been left with tough choices that will factor in his nation’s alignment in Europe and worldwide.
A Typhoon fighter jet in the skies above the Amari Airbase in Estonia, Thursday July 27, 2023
He must decide whether to keep the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), a leading Franco-German-Spanish programme to construct the next generation of air power, which some analysts have hailed as Europe’s most significant defence project.
The central focus of the project is to use a single platform to digitally interweave a new brand of stealth fighter with drones, automated minifighter jets, older combat aircraft and naval or ground-based assets.
Germany has put aside €40 billion (£34.9 billion) of investment for FCAS and it is set to enter the market by 2040. But the scheme has faced delays and there have been clashes over its financing and design.
Sources familiar with Scholz's thinking say he is worried that the project could turn into a white elephant and fall behind competitors, The Times reports.
Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems are taking the leading role in developing a stealth fighter known as the Tempest, scheduled to be ready by 2035. It will form foundation of a wider British- Italian-Japanese aerospace alliance.
One senior German official told the newspaper that Scholz did not see any point in FCAS competing with Tempest and wanted either to merge