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The Defence Ministers of Germany and France, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Florence Parly, in addition to Spanish State Secretary Esperanza Casteleiro Llamazares, signed the third implementing agreement (Implementing Agreement 3) for the Next Generation Weapon System within a Future Combat Air System (NGWS/FCAS) in Paris on 30 August 2021. This sets the framework for activities from 2021 to 2027.

“The signing of this agreement reaffirms the commitment of Germany, Spain and France to the development of a new generation of combat aircraft to meet future threats and challenges,” the BMVg wrote in a press statement.

The NGWS/FCAS programme, it said, helps maintain an industrial and technological base in Europe and thus helps strengthen European sovereignty.

The programme is intended to replace old capabilities and provide a wide range of new ones. The intention is to ensure operational superiority in highly contested environments, the BMVg added. This work, according to the ministry, will put the industrial players of the three nations at the technological forefront of the defence sector.

The next interim goal in the programme is to demonstrate first flight demonstrations in 2027, according to the BMVg release.

Gerhard Heiming