Saturday, March 2, 2024

Will Germany leave the FCAS program to join the British GCAP Tempest?

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A Times report indicates that Germany is reportedly close to withdrawing from the Franco-German , joining GCAP alongside Britain, Italy and Japan, as well as removing opposition from Berlin to the export of Typhoon to Saudi Arabia. Such a decision, which would be made by Olaf Scholz, would lead to an unprecedented deterioration of relations between France and Germany, perhaps also with Great Britain, just two years after the Australian submarine episode. .

The article, published today by the Times website , could well have the effect of a bomb, and cause a crisis in Europe like there has probably never been for a long time.

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According to him, Olaf Scholz would have undertaken to negotiate with London to allow Germany to join the GCAP program which already brings together, in addition to Great Britain, Italy and Japan.

Berlin would prepare its departure from the FCAS program, and the lifting of the veto on the subject of the Saudi Typhoon

As a token of good faith, Berlin would have put on the table the lifting of German sanctions blocking exports of Eurofighter Typhoon to Saudi Arabia, which until now prevented London from signing a contract for 48 new fighters to the Kingdom, probably ruining the chances of the Rafale in the country .

eurofighter typhoon saudi arabia
Berlin could lift its veto on the sale of Eurofighter Typhoon fighters to Saudi Arabia.

The sources of the author of the article, close to the German government, would have indicated that the German chancellor would fear an explosion of costs around the FCAS program, to develop a very efficient device, with a significant risk of failure mid-term. course.

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Furthermore, the German leader would not have appreciated the French force to allow Dassault to retain control of the development of the NGF demonstrator, and would see no interest in developing two devices of the same type in Europe.

Obviously, all this information, coming from anonymous sources, must be taken with immense caution. No official report indicates, in fact, that the FCAS program, and with it MGCS for the development of the battle tank of the future, could be at risk today.

That being said, several considerations give some credibility to these allegations. Thus, everything indicates today that Germany would try to minimize its defense spending beyond the scope of the special fund of €100 billion announced in 2022.

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On the other hand, it is indeed very possible that Berlin did not like the latest negotiations with Paris, whether concerning the FCAS or MGCS program, while France was particularly firm on the industrial and technological perimeters initially. defined.

If the FCAS program were to falter, the MGCS program would follow.

Furthermore, several reports emerged last week of an early end to the British Typhoon assembly line, without a new order from Riyadh.

Berlin in a strong position to negotiate with London against a backdrop of Franco-German tensions

LOGO meta defense 70 International technological cooperation Defense | Germany | Fighter aircraft

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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  1. […] ble that if the British line were to have to close, leading to the endangerment of more than 25,000 direct and induced jobs in the country, until the opening of the Tempest line, it will be the same in Germany , with the risk of seeing important industrial skills wither away. […]

  2. […] Germany would consider joining the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP), bringing together the British Tempest program and the Japanese FX. As proof of commitment, Berlin could lift its sanctions on the export of Eurofighter Typhoon fighters to Saudi Arabia. The end of this embargo would signify a probable failure of the Rafale in the country, in the running to deliver 54 new fighters against the United Kingdom. […]

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