On Monday, 10 April, in Berlin, the German and French Defense Ministers signed an intergovernmental agreement providing for the creation of a tactical transport unit composed of French and German C130 J aircraft.
The Franco-German intergovernmental cooperation agreement on the C130J was signed yesterday in Berlin by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart Ursula Von der Leyen.
It reflects the declaration of intent signed on 4 October. "It is a great advance and a fundamental qualitative change in Franco-German military cooperation. ... Fleets of identical aircraft, joint missions, a mixed unit based in France ... This testifies to the confidence that characterizes Franco-German relations," said Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defense.
This win-win agreement aims, beyond its symbolic value, to respond to a shared capability need, and will create synergies, optimize the use of aircraft and the cost of maintaining them in operational condition, while preserving the capability to plan and carry out self-sustaining national operations. Infrastructure work will have to be carried out at the Evreux air base to accommodate this new unit.
This cooperation is an opportunity for the Franco-German defense relationship. It confirms the will to give a strong impetus to Europe’s common security and defense policy (CSDP) and aims to encourage other European multilateral initiatives.
On the same day, Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian was awarded the great cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Ursula Von der Leyen.
Click here for our related April 11 story.