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Germany’s Scholz calls on European defense partners to cooperate more


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged that his government will support the defense industry and called for closer cooperation between manufacturers in Europe as he opened a trade fair on Wednesday.

“Today we see more clearly than ever how important it is to have a European and German defense industry that can continuously produce all major types of weapons and the necessary ammunition,” he told the International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) in Berlin.

He said Germany “has given the industry too much space in the past,” but “that’s over.” The Russian attack on Ukraine, in violation of international law, has presented all of Germany with a new security policy reality.”

Scholz said he was “strongly in favor of maintaining and expanding production capacity. That is why we will order 20 more Eurofighters in this legislature, in addition to the 38 aircraft currently in the pipeline.”

Closer cooperation between European partners is necessary, he added, to avoid duplication of efforts that Europe cannot afford. What is needed, he said, is focus to reflect the strengths of the respective industries, to promote interoperability between European armed forces. German industry should “come to the fore”, he added.

He previously said the government “has the utmost interest in a strong aerospace industry in Germany and Europe.”

The industry is responding to current geopolitical challenges with innovations, says Michael Schöllhorn, Chairman of the German Aerospace Industries Association. “Civil aviation presents advances in sustainability that will also become a competitive advantage.”

However, the industry is also “under pressure” and must rely on defense budgets and orders to ensure the security of mid-sized companies and suppliers whose capabilities and capabilities “will be critical in the future”, he said.

About 600 exhibitors from 30 countries will be present at the ILA until Sunday.

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