Franco-German Aircraft Carrier Proposal

Hood

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Not a naval project yet at such so placing this here.

Angela Merkel has endorsed the idea of a joint European aircraft carrier. The idea was suggested by the new Christian Democratic Union party leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as part of possible future European cooperation.
It is seen as the next step from SCAF/FCAS; “The next step could be to start on the symbolic project of building a common European aircraft carrier”. Whether it would be operated jointly by the French and German navies or an 'EU Navy' is open to speculation. As a decision on Charles de Gaulle's replacement is not likely before 2025 this is very early days and the proposal may go nowhere in the longer term.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/germany-proposes-european-aircraft-carrier/
 

CJGibson

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There's a rather nice one, zero miles on the clock, sitting in Fife. Business opporchancity?

Chris
 

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gTg

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The embargoed Russian Mistrals would have been something for the Germans to consider when they were available.
A proper aircraft carrier may be too much for the start, i think LPD/LPH are a more likely scenario.
They have much more use in non war fighting missions than pure CV.
 

Archibald

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Well- why not ? it could have happened 40 years ago had Invincibles, Asturias, Garibaldi and PH75 had been merged. And filled with Harriers and helicopters.

Obviously now that the RN build the QE without France, the MN has to look elsewhere. An european derived Q.E would makes a lot of sense, with proper catapults and EMALS of course.
 

Moose

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Yeah it's a sensible enough notion. Whether they mung it up is its own issue, but it's certainly something they should explore.
 

Deltafan

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-economically, this might be a good idea

-politically, it could be problematic, for two lands only, because of possible divergences of domestic or external interest, not to mention possible changes of majorities with presence of elements not necessary for a common aircraft carrier (nationalists, extremists, ecologists, etc ...)

-For EU, the same problematic as for two, multiplied 13.5 or 14 times...
 

Archibald

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The spanish and italian navies are pretty ambitious and quite well funded. They have huge amphibious ships (30 000 tons), they once had Harrier carriers (18 000 tons) so maybe - maybe - they could handle one modified Q.E if a) GB paid most of the bill and b) what is left of the bill is split with France and Germany !
 

Trident

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It's an interesting idea, because it means the carrier variant of FCAS might get more than one customer after all and - possibly even more welcome - an additional source of funding, all of which should improve the economies of scale for what would otherwise be doomed to be a semi-orphaned version. Spain being party to the wider project already only adds to the attraction because they have carrier experience and sharing the burden of a "proper" carrier with Germany might just make the whole thing financially palatable for both. The Armada is also not yet locked into acquiring the F-35B like Italy is.

Seems very unlikely to happen nonetheless.
 

Foo Fighter

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Archibald said:
The spanish and italian navies are pretty ambitious and quite well funded. They have huge amphibious ships (30 000 tons), they once had Harrier carriers (18 000 tons) so maybe - maybe - they could handle one modified Q.E if a) GB paid most of the bill and b) what is left of the bill is split with France and Germany !
Why on earth would GB pay any, let alone MOST of the bill? Madness.
 

galgot

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Foo Fighter said:
Archibald said:
The spanish and italian navies are pretty ambitious and quite well funded. They have huge amphibious ships (30 000 tons), they once had Harrier carriers (18 000 tons) so maybe - maybe - they could handle one modified Q.E if a) GB paid most of the bill and b) what is left of the bill is split with France and Germany !
Why on earth would GB pay any, let alone MOST of the bill? Madness.
I think he meant in the case the QE was for sell and bought by some Fr/Gr/Sp/It navies... as QE R&D and construction is already paid by GB ?
But this won't happen anyways...
 

Archibald

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Foo Fighter said:
Archibald said:
The spanish and italian navies are pretty ambitious and quite well funded. They have huge amphibious ships (30 000 tons), they once had Harrier carriers (18 000 tons) so maybe - maybe - they could handle one modified Q.E if a) GB paid most of the bill and b) what is left of the bill is split with France and Germany !
Why on earth would GB pay any, let alone MOST of the bill? Madness.
Nope, I mean that G.B paid DEVELOPMENT COSTS of Q.E ships since 2004. Mostly alone, since France pulled out. What I meant was a 90% clone of Q.E + catapults or EMALS, most of the remaining cost split between Italy, France, Spain and Germany.
 

galgot

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Ah I see, thks.
Anyways… I don’t even see Fr and Gr having and operating a carrier together.
Seems to me Merkel said that to please Macron on European defence integration, knowing it won’t happen anyway, while at the same time the new CDU boss was dismissing most of Macron’s proposals in his "letter to Europe".
Playing good cop and bad cop… you know, diplomacy.
 

icyplanetnhc

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Are we talking about a French and a German aircraft carrier sharing the same design, or the two navies sharing the same vessel(s)? I can think of so many reasons why the latter wouldn't work or just DOA. Given that Germany is having trouble even deploying one of its submarines, I think there are more pressing priorities.
 

Foo Fighter

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It seems that this is one more step towards merging the military forces and uniting them under the eu banner, reporting only to the eu. This is part of a planned federalisation and the only way any form of combined force like this will work. The Germans and French want to leverage cost of a military so they can continue to not honor their promises of budget percentage devoted to defence.
 

Hood

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A similar situation already exists with the February 2016 Letter of Intent which allows the German Navy to use the HLNMS Karel Doorman for operations.
I don't think this has actually happened yet (operations under the German ensign), but both navies have been co-operating closely since July 2015, a German Seebataillon being formed and attached to the Dutch Navy in return for access to the Doorman. This Seebataillon has been embarked on exercises several times.

A similar situation could conceivably apply to the aircraft carrier, the Marineflieger could provide dedicated aircraft units (probably FCAS/SCAF naval aircraft) to equip the carrier. Germany might also contribute a share of the construction costs in this case. Effectively the same thing is happening with the USMC deployment aboard QE. A bilateral agreement like this would probably work better. An EU flagged carrier would present issues unless there was buy-in from the other nations. For example an EU carrier conducting a Freedom of Navigation exercise in the South China Sea would present political problems, would the carrier be representing all 27 member states or just France and Germany?
It's possible of course that by 2030 attitudes and the landscape has changed sufficiently that some form of pooled EU defence force has become a political reality (although NATO attempts at mulitnational forces never managed to get off the ground even at the height of the Cold War).
 
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