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France, Germany, Sweden launch future transport aircraft

Seen being displayed at ILA 2022, the C-130 in service with the Luftwaffe, the Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace, and the Swedish Air Force is one of the aircraft types earmarked for replacement by the FMTC project. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

France, Germany, and Sweden have agreed development of a new fixed-wing medium-lift transport aircraft, it was announced on 30 June.

The French Ministère des Armées reported the agreement, saying that the three countries launched the Future Mid-Size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) programme during the Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace (AAE)-hosted French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (PFUE) European Wings event.

“It was during this event on 23 June that an agreement was signed for the Future Mid-Size Tactical Cargo (FMTC), a tactical transport aircraft project replacing, by 2040, the [Lockheed Martin] C-130 Hercules and Casa [Airbus Defence and Space (DS)] CN235 fleets. Supported by the European Defence Agency (EDA), this agreement allows the definition of the aircraft intended to operate in addition to the [Airbus DS] A400M fleet from 2040,” the AAE said.

According to the AAE, while France, Germany, and Sweden are the launch signatories for the FMTC project, other unnamed countries are participating with more set to join.

“This signature marks a first major step for the FMTC project to converge towards more precise common specifications. Subsequent industrial feasibility studies could lead to the launch of the development of this new aircraft around 2026−27,” the AAE said.

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