10:05 GMT26 February 2021
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    The joint Future Combat Air System project was intended to replace European countries’ ageing warplanes with new EU-made jets. However, Belgium recently decided to switch to the US-made F-35 instead of buying European fighters.

    Recent talks between France and Germany pertaining to the joint project of a new jet, also known as the "Future Combat Air System (FCAS)," have resulted in a deadlock, as the sides disagreed on export terms, Der Spiegel reported, citing a confidential cable from Germany's ambassador to Paris. According to the magazine, Paris demanded unrestricted exports for the future aircraft, while Berlin stood for scrutiny over deliveries of the jet to non-EU and non-NATO countries.

    Germany believes the jets could be used by governments involved in human rights abuse if exports are not controlled. France, on the other hand, was firm in its position in favor of free sales, saying that otherwise it wouldn't participate in the project, Spiegel reported.

    Head of Airbus, which is participating in the FCAS project, Tom Enders slammed Berlin's position in an interview with the German outlet, saying that it is impeding European cooperation.

    "Berlin can't urge greater European cooperation and then refuse it, when projects are taking shape," he said.

    READ MORE: Airbus, Dassault Slam Belgium's Choice of US F-35 Jets Over Eurofighter Typhoon

    The Future Combat Air System is a joint project aimed at developing a combat jet for European countries. It is expected to be ready for test flights around 2025 and is intended to replace ageing jets currently in use by EU countries.


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    arms sales, joint project, disagreement, Future Combat Air System, Airbus, Germany, France
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