France, Germany, Spain sign contract to develop fighter jet prototype

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 20, 2020
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PARIS, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly and her counterparts from Germany and Spain signed a contract on Thursday to develop a prototype of the next generation fighter jet as part of a plan to bolster the European bloc's security and reduce defense reliance on allies, notably the United States, the French minister said.

"This morning in Paris, Germany, Spain and France confirm their decision to develop the prototype of the future European combat aircraft as part of the SCAF," Parly tweeted, referring to the new Future Combat Air System.

"Born out of a common military need, SCAF is the result of historic European cooperation. A modern, competitive project, up to the strategic, technological and industrial challenges of tomorrow. Let us be proud of it," she said.

The prototype of the warplane, which will replace Dassault's Rafale and Germany's Eurofighter warplanes, is set to be completed and make its first flight in 2026, according to the minister.

The SCAF includes, in addition to the prototype aircraft, drones to accompany the warplane and an air combat cloud, the Ministry of Armed Forces said in a statement.

"SCAF is the result of a common military need. An operational imperative for air combat in the second half of the 21st century. It will allow France to maintain its military rank and achieve its strategic ambitions," it added. Enditem

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