Cologne, Germany – Defense takeover leaders in Germany and the United Kingdom have agreed to expand their bilateral defense ties, highlighting the main ground combat system and other ground programs as areas for cooperation.
Eurotank was mentioned in a German reading of a conversation between Benedict Zimmer and Jeremy Quinn about their April 22nd conversation when British officials paid for months to include them as observers on the Franco-German program.
Germany supported the proposal in line with Berlin’s efforts to isolate defense ties with London from a stressful divorce between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
A spokeswoman for the German Defense Ministry told Defense News that Eurotank’s talks this week are about preparing the program and recognizing the German side that Britain wants to play a role.
The spokeswoman added that, in the meantime, the French had yet to decide whether or not to include the British. Paris has traditionally been more interested in expanding the circle of doers in European defense programs, including the futuristic air combat system.
The prospect of the UK joining the MCGS raises questions about the overall balance in the remaining three Franco-German programs: FCAS and Eurodrone. Stakeholders in both countries only sometimes consider progress on either program if certain policy conditions are met in the other two.
In addition to Eurotank, Zimmer and Quin also discussed collaboration options for the boxer vehicle and a future pontoon system for the Ground Forces. Both Germany and Britain are making important contributions to NATO in Europe when it comes to mobile bridges that ground forces, including heavy tanks, can use to cross lakes and rivers.
According to a statement from the German Ministry of Defense, the two countries plan to convert a bi-national weapons formation in Minden into a unit with amphibious will by October 2021.
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