According to Deutsche Welle, the European plane maker Airbus is weighing the options to build a new fighter jet for European allies. It would replace the military aircraft used now, including the F/A-18 Hornet and the Tornado.
As told to German business daily “Handelsblatt,” Airbus Military chief Fernando Alonso said in Toulouse that the company was currently working on some components for the jet at its locations in Germany and Spain, with funding coming from the respective governments “and hopefully other players in the future.”
As the EU executive aimed to define a joint foreign and defense policy in the 28-member bloc, Airbus said it would definitely make sense to drastically reduce the number of different weapons systems with a view to enhancing efficiency and ultimately saving costs.
The plane maker noted that several nations, including Germany and Spain required new air defense systems mid-term, and a new integrated approach towards a pan-EU fighter jet combining the capabilities of drones, satellites and reconnaissance planes would be useful, Airbus argued.
Alonso told the “Handelsblatt” there was no room for two to three different defense systems in Europe, adding that he hoped to convince the French governments and domestic companies such as Dassault of the need to participate in the program.