France Ready for Next Phase of Fighter Jet Programme

France has signed a contract with Dassault Aviation, Airbus, Indra and Eumet for the next stage development of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), The French Armed Forces Ministry announced on Thursday. The jet fighter programme was first announced in 2017 by French President Macron and then German Chancellor Merkel. It is expected to replace the Eurofighter and Dassault’s Rafale with a combination of manned and unmanned aircraft from 2040.

France said the first tranche of this contract was worth more than €3 billion.

The Eumet company is a joint venture between French aircraft engine maker Safran and German engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines.

Spanish company Indra said in a separate statement that it would get more than €600 million as part of the technological development phase of the programme.

Indra added the contract would create 400 new jobs at Indra and more than 1,000 jobs in Spain overall.

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