France and Germany had originally set the end of April for a deal, but a dispute over how to share intellectual property rights held up negotiations.
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly tweeted: “France, Germany and Spain are building one of the most important tools for their sovereignty and that of Europe in the 21st century.”
But the news infuriated Les Patriotes leader, Florian Philippot, in France, who claimed French President Emmanuel Macron and Ms Parly have “betrayed” their country.
“Macron and Parly betray France and give our technological lead to Germany! Shameful!
“France is perfectly capable of making its fighter plane on its own.”
The next development phase for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is expected to cost 3.5 billion euros, to be shared equally by the three countries.
Previously, a source with knowledge of the issue told Reuters the German defence ministry must refer the budget proposal to the finance ministry by May 19.
Tensions between Mr Macron and Ms Merkel had erupted after Frau Merkel demanded access to Dassault’s industrial secrets.
The French Aviation firm would also have to give up some technologies it has developed for French-led defence systems, something it is unwilling to compromise on.
The FCAS programme, announced by the governments of France and Germany in 2017, will provide the next level of airpower by creating a system of manned and unmanned platforms with full operational capability expected by 2040.
FCAS is a key part of Macron’s push for military sovereignty on the Continent and his aim to lessen its reliance on the Nato alliance.
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed