Paris and Berlin on Thursday gave a new impetus to the Franco-German tank of the future (MGCS) project, bogged down in rivalries between industrialists, by agreeing on the definition of the needs expected by the two armies of the future system, noted an AFP journalist. Under the watchful eye of the two Defence Ministers, Boris Pistorius and Sébastien Lecornu, the Chiefs of Staff of the French Army of each country initialled the HLCORD, a document setting out their "common operational requirements" to which the future system will have to respond.
"This step will allow the work, until the end of December" to define the different pillars of technological blocks to be developed and the responsibility of each State, explained Boris Pistorius. "Then we will have to start negotiations with the industrialists" KNDS - bringing together the French Nexter and the German KMW - and the German Rheinmetall before "next year the decisive step of the signing of the contract I hope", he detailed.
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Concrete progress of European defence
The ceremony took place at the Evreux air base, which hosts a Franco-German tactical transport squadron integrating pilots, mechanics and C130J aircraft from both countries, a project presented by Paris as a concrete step forward for European defense. Sign of a resumption of control of the program begun since a meeting between the two men, the French minister recalled that "it is the two States that are carriers of the project on the political and diplomatic level but it is also the two States that will be the customers, the buyers".
The signing of this HLCORD comes five years after the approval in April 2018 of its equivalent for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), another flagship program of Franco-German defense cooperation. The Scaf and MGCS projects were both launched at the same time, in July 2017, and the German Bundestag is calling for both programmes to move forward at the same pace. "The pace has been slowed down but now we are accelerating, we are pressing the mushroom because it is necessary," said Boris Pistorius.