The Governments of France and Germany officially welcomed Spain as a partner nation in the sixth-generation Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme, at the 2019 Paris Air Show 2019.
With the agreement, announced by French Defence Minister Florence Parly, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, and Margarita Robles, Defence Minister for Spain, in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, three Airbus home nations now form the core part of Europe’s most decisive military aviation programme for the next decades.
Alberto Gutiérrez, Head of Military Aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “Starting FCAS on a bilateral basis between France and Germany was important to kick-start the programme and to get it on track. The integration of Spain now is a credible step forward towards the envisioned Europeanisation of FCAS. Not only is Spain one of Airbus’ founding countries but it’s also an industrial stronghold for military aircraft in our company. The country is a key contributor to Europe’s defence capabilities as well as an experienced and trusted partner in joint defence programmes. So we’re not only glad to see Spain join FCAS, we also believe it is a natural evolution for the programme.”