French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly (R) greets German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (L) upon her arrival at Hotel de Brienne in Paris, France, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
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France expects to take a "first significant step" in the development of a new European fighter jet with Germany later this month, Defense Minister Florence Parly said in remarks published Thursday.After that the companies involved -- Dassault, MBDA, Thales and Safran on the French side and Airbus on the German side -- would spend just under a year working separately on technical specifications before agreeing a common contract to work together.The source said France and Germany wanted to push the project forward quickly before bringing others on board.It would mark the end of a decades-long split since France withdrew from the Eurofighter project in the 1980s to produce its Rafale warplane with Dassault Aviation.
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