Military Capabilities

Franco-German Defence and Security Council push military and industrial co-operation

17 October 2019

The Franco-German Defence and Security Council expressed "firm commitment" to the NATO eFP, with France planning to return to the German-led NATO battlegroup in Lithuania in 2020 (photo of the 2018 deployment to the country). Source: Petras Malukas/AFP/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron and their foreign and defence ministers met for a Franco-German Defence and Security Council in Toulouse on 16 October. During the meeting, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer; her French counterpart, Florence Parly; and the two countries' foreign ministers, Heiko Maas of Germany and Jean-Yves Le Drian of France, discussed security and defence policy.

In their agreed conclusions published after the meeting, "France and Germany highlight their firm commitment to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence [eFP]," with France planning to commit troops to the German-led NATO battlegroup in Lithuania in 2020.

Regarding industrial co-operation in the air domain, the agreed conclusions stated that a contract would be awarded by the end of January 2020 on research and technology activities on the Franco-German Next Generation Weapon System (NGWS) within a Future Combat Air System (FCAS) aimed at developing a New Generation Fighter (NGF) demonstrator that would fly in 2026. The joint conclusions added that a new phase of the Joint Concept Study would be launched following Germany's commitment to do so at the June 2019 Paris Air Show. Spain's initial participation was welcomed and other European nations were invited to join FCAS/NGWS, as well as the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS).

Regarding the latter, the joint conclusions stated that a system architecture study would be launched in early 2020, adding, "France and Germany will examine steps for a further consolidation and evolution of their land systems industries."

The final conclusions reaffirmed France and Germany's objective to award a contract for a feasibility study for a Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) for their maritime patrol aircraft in early 2020.

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