UK & France Reach Agreement on CVF Carrier Development
DID has covered Britain’s CVF future aircraft carrier program in some depth, and we have also covered France’s PA2 program which aims to build a second, non-nuclear carrier to complement the nuclear-powered (and problem-plagued) FNS Charles de Gaulle. At the time, we noted that making the new ship a CVF variant seemed to be France’s preferred approach.
The United Kingdom and France have now reached a cooperation agreement concerning the future design of aircraft carriers.
“There are details to be wrapped up,” says UK Defence Secretary John Reid, “but our agreement covers arrangements for the management of the project for the next 12 months.” France will pay one third of the demonstration phase costs of the common base line design, in addition to staged payments in recognition of the investment the UK has already made. These payments will comprise GBP 30 million immediately, GBP 25 million in July 2006, and a further GBP 45 million at the end of the demonstration phase (total: GBP 100 million, or $178.6 million/ EUR 145.5 million at current conversion) if France decides to continue with the project.
The details were wrapped up, and the formal agreement signed, on March 6, 2006 at an informal meetings of EU Defence Ministers in Innsbruck, Austria.