Arrow 3, KF-51 Panther, F-35...: Germany turns its back on France without saying it

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For several months, the Franco-German defense industrial cooperation programs have suffered from a deep industrial divergence, as is the case of the opposition between Dassault Aviation and Airbus DS in the field of the new combat aircraft program FCAS generation, or between Nexter and Rheinmetall in that of the combat tank program of the future MGCS. In addition, Berlin has distanced itself or even withdrawn from certain cooperation, such as the MAWS maritime patrol aircraft program scuttled by the acquisition of American P-8A Poseidons, the program for the evolution of the combat helicopter Tiger 3 which will only be produced by Paris and Madrid (but in which German companies will participate), or the stillborn CIFS artillery program of the future, officially relegated to the Greek calends, knowing that it is now very unlikely that it can really emerge one day. Beyond the industrial oppositions, a subtle but more and more marked movement of retreat was initiated by the German authorities 2 years ago, and accentuated since the departure of Angela Merkel from the Chancellery. However, the declarations made in recent days, like the decisions announced by Berlin, are today taking a new step forward in this probable divorce in the making between Paris and Berlin in the field of Defence.

Indeed, statements have multiplied across the Rhine to question the relevance of this cooperation, in the broader sense of the term. The most spectacular was undoubtedly made by the Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr himself, General Eberhard Zorn. While speaking on September 12 before the Federal Council for Foreign Affairs, the DGAP, the latter declared that today it needed equipment that rolls, sails and flies, actually available and operational, and not vague European projects in the future with uncertain performance. And to add that the recent examples accredit his reserves, by specifying that he did not wish to give an example not to target certain industrialists. This declaration had the effect of a bomb in the German press, many experts having denounced in particular the lack of progress of the FCAS and MGCS programs, and having not failed to put forward alternative solutions, such as the British FCAS program. , and the KF-51 Panther by Rheinmetall.

Tempest 3D Germany | Military alliances | Defense Analysis
Britain's Tempest is increasingly being talked about as an effective alternative for Germany's Franco-German FCAS program

This declaration came while officially, Berlin's position is still to support European cooperation, as Olaf Scholz repeated on August 30 in Prague. However, it is probably not the work of General Zorn exasperated by the lack of progress in certain cooperation. Let us remember that when his Luftwaffe counterpart expressed his preference for the American F-35 over the Typhoon and to the Super Hornet for the modernization of its army, the latter had been roundly thanked by Angela Merkel, for not having adhered to the official doctrine. Conversely, General Zorn's statements today seem to unite many voices across the Rhine, experts and politicians alike, who believe in particular that Berlin is the only European actor able to finance programs like FCAS/FCAS and MGCS. Latest shocking announcement although anticipated, the German authorities announced yesterday that they had selected the Israeli IAI's Arrow 3 anti-ballistic system designed in collaboration with Boeing to arm the European anti-aircraft and anti-missile shield proposed by Olaf Scholz two weeks ago, and this, while France and Italy are developing the Aster Block 1NT anti-ballistic missile on their side, truly European and capable of intercepting missiles with a range of more than 1500 km, i.e. the essential part of the Russian tactical arsenal.

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