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Dassault CEO frustrated over fighter talks with Airbus -Breaking

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© Reuters. Eric Trappier is the Chairman and CEO at Dassault Aviation. He was pictured in Merignac, France on February 6, 2019, with Dassault Aviation’s factory. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters), – Dassault Aviation expressed frustration at Airbus’ dispute over the next phase in the European FCAS fighter program and called for clear leadership.

The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is designed to replace the Eurofighter and Dassault’s Rafale with a combination of manned and unmanned aircraft from 2040. France, Germany, Spain and Spain are the main funders of FCAS.

Chief Executive Eric Trappier declared, “I accept being leader if my leverage allows me to lead,” in reference to Dassault’s responsibility to the core fighter elements of the design.

Airbus and Dassault were at odds about flight controls. Trappier however stated that Dassault was willing to split the responsibility as long as Airbus was free from the first of seven project’s pillars – which involved the aircraft.

Trappier stated, “We have done enough effort,” adding that talks were ‘difficult’ due to new demands since September.

Airbus didn’t immediately reply to our request for comment.

Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive of Airbus, stated last month that “we continue working with our industrial partners with an objective to move onto the next phase development later in the year.”

Dassault also announced Friday’s results, stating that the company was also looking to agree on the next phase of FCAS, or Phase 1B, prior to the year-end. Trappier stated that the FCAS project had been dragging on for “too long”.

Analysts in defence speculate that FCAS differences could cause the project to fail and force industry partners into reorganization.

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