In recent weeks, Franco-German relations around Defense industrial cooperation programs have begun to resemble the scenario of a bad South American series, with its share of artificial twists and declarations intended to be shattering in the form of cliffhanger. Latest events to date, the bitter observation made by French officials of the difficulties encountered by discussions around the Tigre 3 program, with the aim of a possible acquisition of AH-64E Apache helicopters by Berlin across the Atlantic, and the deep differences between the French vision and the German vision regarding the MGCS New Generation Tank Program. It seems in fact that where Germany favors a conservative solution based on the alliance of great power and significant armor, France seeks, when it comes to it, to favor mobility and urban combat to respond to its future commitments. By the way, it was enough to look side by side the Leclerc MLU and the Leopard 2A7 to have a small idea of this antagonism.
The MAWS next-generation maritime patrol aircraft program is also a focus, with the export authorization given to the FMS for 5 P8 Poseidon for Germany, and the surprise proposal from France to lend 4 Atlantique 2 in waiting solution. It therefore appears that Berlin is increasingly seeking to privilege its transatlantic partnership to the detriment of that with Paris, and this since the election of Joe Biden to the American presidency. Is this observation purely empirical and linked to a Franco-French observation bias, or is it based on an objective and justified reality for Berlin? It does seem that it is this second hypothesis which is essential at the end of a methodical analysis: Berlin cannot, today, distance itself from the American partner, as President Macron hoped without saying it with its vision of European strategic autonomy, for reasons which are none other than economic and budgetary.
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