On the 30th of August 2021, the French Minister of Defense, Mrs. Florence PARLY met with the German Minister of Defense, Mrs. Annegret KRAMP-KARRENBAUER and the Spanish State Secretary for Defense, Mrs. Esperanza CASTELEIRO LLAMAZARES. On this occasion, they have signed the third implementing arrangement of the NGWS/FCAS (Next Generation Weapon System within a Future Combat Air System) programme, which frames its activities over the period 2021-2027.
The signing of this arrangement confirms the commitment of Germany, Spain and France to the development of a new generation combat aviation capable of facing future threats and challenges. The NGWS/FCAS programme also contributes to maintaining a dynamic European industrial and technological base, thereby helping to strengthen European sovereignty.
While air superiority is currently challenged by ever more serious and versatile threats, the programme will provide a wide range of capabilities, thus ensuring operational superiority in highly contested environments.
The arrangement signed by the three ministers is the result of an unprecedented cooperation between the national entities in charge of armament issues: BMVg in Germany, DiGAM in Spain and DGA in France. It confirms the credibility of the cooperation between the three nations on this programme under French leadership, and demonstrates their ability to act jointly in strategic areas.
In the continuity of the work already achieved since 2019, it launches a new step that will lead to the first flight demonstrations in 2027. This work will place the industrial participants of the three nations at the technological forefront of the defence sector. In addition, there was an exchange of views on security policy issues.
On this occasion, the three ministers also expressed their concern about the situation in Afghanistan. They agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation among Europeans, including in the fight against armed terrorist groups.
Germany, Spain and France share the common will to achieve an ambitious and operational Strategic Compass, in order to strengthen European defence. The three ministers highlighted their will to establish close coordination in view of the EU French presidency (first half of 2022) and the Spanish presidency (second half of 2023), in order to guarantee a full continuity with the work initiated during the German presidency (second half of 2020).