All the difficulty linked to the integration of new partners and industrial sharing within the SCAF new generation combat aircraft program bringing together Germany, Spain and France, was summarized by the Secretary of State at the Spanish defense, Amparo Valcarce, when asked about Belgium's arrival with observer status within the SCAF program.
The Minister indeed expressed her great satisfaction at seeing Brussels join the program which aims to scale for the entire European aeronautical defense industrial effort, as well as for the capabilities of the air forces of the old continent.
But when a journalist asked her about the redistribution of industrial sharing within the program, she gave a completely different speech, indicating that she intended for Spain to retain 33% of industrial activity , at the very least. less in phase 1B aimed at developing the demonstrator by 2029, and for which Madrid has committed to financing €2.5 billion on behalf of Paris and Berlin.
It is common, reading the shelf press but also the defense commentary gurus on social networks, that responsibility for the lack of flexibility within European cooperation programs is attributed to France.
In fact, the situation is often different, and very often, France, or rather President Macron, is much more conciliatory than its partners, but also than its own industrialists, when it comes to promoting the emergence of a real pan-European dynamic in terms of defense.
This case is the perfect example, because it is very likely that it was Paris which imposed the arrival of Brussels in observer status within the SCAF program. Not without reason, moreover, because if Belgium actually chose the F-35A over the Rafale in 2018, it has since shown more than a white hand towards France by ordering almost €5 billion worth of military equipment to French manufacturers (VBMR, EBRC, Caesar, McM, Mistral 3 ).
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