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Spain joins France, Germany on new combat fighter

AFP  |  Madrid 

will join a Franco-German project to build a new fighter plane to replace the and Rafale, the defence ministry said Monday.

will sign a letter of intent with her French and German counterparts on Thursday on the margins of a NATO meeting in Brussels, a said.

The project launched in July 2017 is known as the (FCAS), which in addition to a new combat also plans to include drones and cruise missiles.

The new fighter jet will replace the which is assembled in Germany, Britain, and Italy, and the French Rafale around 2040. It will compete with the US F-35 or its successor.

A first contract worth 65 million euros was awarded to and Dassault in February to develop the design of the combat system.

Spain, where Airbus's military transport planes are assembled, had sent a letter in December to and asking to be associated with the project.

The FCAS has a rival -- Britain's Tempest project which has been awarded to BAE Systems, and which and the have also joined.

In a December statement, Spain's defence ministry said it was "convinced that the two programmes would end up merging, given the huge investment needed in their development.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 00:45 IST