France, Germany and Spain agree on next phase of new fighter jet development, sources say

France, Germany and Spain have reached an agreement on the start of the next phase of development of a new jet fighter jet dubbed FCAS, Europe’s biggest defense project with an estimated cost of more than 100 billion euros, two sources told Reuters on Friday.

The three countries and their respective industries have struck a deal, said a defense source who spoke on condition of anonymity and did not give details.

A French government source also confirmed that the industries, seen as the main obstacles on the road to an understanding recently, have reached an agreement to move to the next phase of the warplane project.

According to earlier reports, the next phase of development of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is expected to cost around 3.5 billion euros, to be split equally between the three countries.

France’s Dassault, Airbus and Indra — the latter two representing Germany and Spain respectively — are involved in the scheme to begin replacing the French Rafale and the German and Spanish Eurofighters starting in 2040.

French President Emmanuel Macron and then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel first announced plans in July 2017 for the FCAS, which will include a jet fighter and a variety of associated weapons, including drones.

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