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European defense bets on US aircraft

Old Continent's projects increasingly competitive, but need to wait until the end

The aerospace show in Farnborough, UK, ended on July 22, but the debate fueled within the aerospace defense industry shows no sign of waning among industry insiders. High on the agenda of priorities is the arms race by EU countries, especially now that they are grappling with the Russian-Ukrainian war at home. The fact, however, is that the choice almost always ends up on US-made assets. 

The United Kingdom is developing the design of the sixth-generation, multi-role stealth aircraft, Tempest for the Royal Air Force, on which Bae Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo and Mbda are working. It is scheduled to enter service in 2035 but the timetable may not be met. The European Union, on the other hand, is developing the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System (FCAS) project, which is a sixth-generation fighter that will replace the Eurofighter in 2035. 

Europe is becoming more and more influential in competing with the United States as well, yet at the moment American products are favored-just think of Germany's recent 100 billion euro investment to buy Lockheed Martin's US-made F-35s. Meanwhile, Washington, Moscow, Beijing and Brussels are increasing their defense budgets, some more, some less.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency