German Chancellor Angela Merkel has endorsed the idea of a joint European aircraft carrier.

The idea was suggested by her party’s leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the politician that succeeded Merkel last year as leader of the governing Christian Democratic Union in Germany, made the proposal in a weekend response to the French President’s proposals for European reform.

Germany and France are already working together on a future European combat aircraft.

“The next step could be to start on the symbolic project of building a common European aircraft carrier” to underline what the EU calls its global security role.

Merkel said Monday, according to Reuters, that “it’s right and good that we have such equipment on the European side, and I’m happy to work on it”.

It is currently unclear if this is a proposal for a jointly operated vessel or a common class, the latter however appears the least likely due to the cost.

In October 2018, the French Ministry of Defence launched an 18-month study for €40 million for the eventual future replacement of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle beyond 2030.

A decision for the new carrier is scheduled to take place beyond 2025, and the future carrier is to remain in service until beyond 2080 and one of the proposals is pictured above.

101 COMMENTS

  1. Suggested by the country whose entire submarine fleet was broken, who have new frigates with a permanent list and concrete ballast because they’re top heavy?… 🤔… 😂

    • Or is it a case of Germany paying for France’s new aircraft carrier? (They did after all use German taxpayers money to save all those French banks holding Greek debt so there’s a precedent…)

      • Apparently the Germans have made 2 trillion out of the Euro, and it has cost the French something like 3.5 trillion…….and German banks let a fair deal to Greece too…….so all that money just churned through the system…..and then it is interesting to compare Greek debt with ECB QE.

        A fiat currency is a dodge exercise when it used in one economy, stretched across disparate ones it is suicidal.

        If say the Italians decided to print Lira backed by their gold, or their central bank’s gold as nobody knows who owns it, then the Euro would sink like a heavy thingy in thin air.

        • More likely is either Deutsch Bank or the remaining Italian Banking system collapsing. Ordinarily either of these highly plausible events would bring down the Euro, but both the Commission and ECB have stated that they will do/spend whatever necessary to keep the Euro afloat. If it were to collapse their plans for a Euro federal superstate would be severely damaged.

          • Don’t forget the ECB spent 2 trillion euro+ on every junk euro corporate & government bond they could lay their hands on. Bought at full price, they could only be sold at a huge discount. No one knows how much the ECB has lost, but the conservative estimate is at least 700 billion euro.

    • But German technology is supreme didn’t you know. Problems like this are just ‘little I avoidable niggles’, well unless they are British in which case they would be a National disgrace that the whole world is laughing at which the country will never recover from. Rant over… Other than to add my Bosch oven is a piece of junk while my Bosch jig saw broke inside 6 months but then that’s my fault for ever buying into the myth. I can recommend Hitachi power tools mind.

      • My Bosch oven is rubbish, my Dewalt drill has been replaced 3 times in a year. My VW T5 van has spent more time off of the road than on it. German technology is not all that. Over hyped and overpriced junk. But yes what the hell does a trading block want with an aircraft carrier? Perhaps they thought they could borrow ours as they thought we would never leave. And why are we lending the French our T45 destroyer to protect their aircraft carrier? Surely it should be protecting our air craft carriers?

        • Back when the carriers were conceived and ordered, the concept of us leaving the EU never even occurred to Blair and co. Plans were in place for a European reaction force formed with either a British or French fleet carrier and European escorts.

          It’s mentioned in an article, but one reason HMS Duncan is forming part of a French CBG is so that the crew can build experience operating as part of a carrier group for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first operational deployment in 2021.

  2. Germany and Aircraft Carrier are three words that one doesn’t normally associate with one another, given their dabbles with such technology during Ze War.

    We all know what’ll happen. The French will feck over their allies like they always do. The Germans will spend more time painting their aircraft to look pretty rather than worry about operational capabilities.

    The German frigates will shoot their missiles off too early and the French support ships will still be smaller than ours. And ours have a much nicer arse end.

    There’ll also be a massive fight in the kitchen department. The French will want a giant baguette machine (see their current one). Ze Germans will want a giant sausage machine.

    *My sarcasm must be taken as a reflection of my thoughts as this is the single most ridiculous thing I have heard since the Daily Mail thought that ‘5 inch gun’ referred to the length of a gun.

    • Still! It could give rise to a new unit of measurement. We’re always banging on about double-deckers, they could say that the carrier is the length of 10,000 sausage baguettes or something.

    • Dont forget a wine tank for bulk storage. This was apparently one of many sticking points on the ill fated Trinational Horizon Frigate programme. Nobody could agree on the size or location of the wine tank which of course the Brits did not want or need.

      • Mind you that was before we started producing the best fizzy wine in the World. Perhaps the Germans could compromise and use French wine tanks on their Frigates to correct the list. Or Liebfraumilch perhaps as no one is likely to actually drink it.

  3. captain – if you have a medical issue then Tena for men are supposed to be good. I haven’t tried them myself yet. If you were laughing at the proposal above – don’t worry – most of us have done the same. We have the plans , jigs & willing work force etc to build them a Q.E. class for a fair price? But hang on; have you treated us fairly over Brexit?

  4. I’ve always believed that Britain must maintain the Atlantic Bridge, that has brought us through Two World Wars.
    Our place is beside The USA, Canada…and further afield, the Antipodes. That doesn’t mean we still can’t exercise with EU forces.
    No “Soft Brexit” jibes, please!

  5. I didn’t think the Germans were big on the idea of power projection. An aircraft carrier would be a 180 – a shift in policy of seismic proportions, even under the guise of EU ownership.

    • There has always been some politicians in favour but have been the minority up until recent years, was only a couple of years ago they passed a law in parliament allowing them to contribute financially to another countries nuclear weapons so they would be under the umbrella.

    • I suppose it in part depends on which flag is flying, German, French or EU, what the carrier operations are and how they are perceived, as to whether power is being projected? Just having a big ship isn’t going to do it on its own IMO. In addition I suspect Germany’s goal is not to be seen to be a unilateral actor, which may be why they share the Karel Doorman with the Dutch, since amphibious operations might also be considered a more offensive posture.

      For example if a carrier doing HADR was UN flagged then I doubt many would consider that power projection, regardless of where it was in the world, because the UN is generally considered to be a force for peace nowadays (or a peaceful force to a fault might be a more accurate description) and its also not an individual nation state. Conversely a German or French flagged carrier passing through the SCS might well be considered power projection by at least one country.

  6. Jokes aside, like mentioned above a major shift from their Marine littoral operations. Power projection from Germany?….worried anyone…

    • Somebody tell me it’s still March…… No AV I’m not worried. Their U boats don’t go down, their surface vessels don’t cruise along and their ‘planes don’t go up and their army only comes out on alternate Wednesday’s. If it weren’t all so tragic it would be what it is …a complete farce.

    • I wrote about The German (Dominant) Psyche some months ago.
      They will ultimately rule Europe, this time by controlling the monetary system and eventually the Military.

      Time for bed; must contribute to the EU divorce bill. What is it now? €50 Billion? Which equates to 14 x 70,000 Ton Carriers…

      • Ian yes but we have had 2 chances now, we will not get a 3rd. A 3rd chance of what exactly please Mr Junker, unelected fat cat?
        A 3rd chance to continue to pay money we do not owe? A 3rd chance to agree to a bad deal or no deal? A 3rd chance to continue being one of just 2 nations that consistently pay more into the EU then we got out?
        The EU is indebted upto it’s eyeballs. The ECBs debt mountain stands at £2.5 trillion pounds. Not bad for a central bank that has only been in being for less than 15 years.
        The EU is on the edge of a recession. They cannot afford a no deal BREXIT. That is precisely why we should give our friends and allies that concept. You have negotiated in bad faith, you have treated the UK as some vassal state. We are not some tiny country you can push around. Let’s go no deal and see where it takes us. Within 3 months they will be knocking on our doors requesting a no strings attached free trade deal.
        Now the EU want to build aircraft carriers. Worried?
        Apart from it being laughable and likely to take 20+ years before we see any vessel in the water. This is just Germany thinking of ways to militarily reinforce it’s dominance over Europe.
        If only our politicians had the guts to say “enough is enough” we voted for BREXIT now deliver to us just that. If the deal is so bad then there is only one option. Talk down the road with your head held high and make the best of whatever the future brings.

        • Tell that to the Sheep, who are being told that the EU is the stabilising factor for post-war European peace, even though the real reason is a little acronym called MAD! an insurance policy under real threat from Comrade Corbyn!

          Or the fact that countries like Greece…even Italy, see tax avoidance as a national sport, just one reason why they struggle to meet the Euro’s entry/sustainable requirements, that being at least something Blair had the foresight to dodge, cough cough!

          As a Classical Liberal, I’m all for a fair and inclusive society, but the problem with European Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money!!

          We know the first ten years will likely (but not definitely) be difficult, but better that, than to become a vassal of/to Germanic fervour!

          The list is endless, but I’ll end my political rant there!!

  7. The temptation is to take the mick, but from a more sober and optimistic perspective, European defence, expanded with a 2-carrier solution (a single ship seems unlikely) jointly funded by France and Germany, actually has some chance of success and is a desirable enhancement for overall European security.

    With delivery beyond 2030 they might leverage the QEC design to help de-risk and reduce cost and they will certainly be able to leverage the UK’s learning for a vessel of this size with the unique two island approach, regardless of if they go this path or not. They may also be able to leverage EMALS learning from the US for a proven non-steam CATOBAR solution, without having to live with all the costs of its development, and of course a QEC based design is already set up to provide block builds for the required work share between both countries.

    Initially populated with French Rafale M and cross-decking options with the US, the ships would eventually migrate to whatever naval variant results from their FCAS program. Operationally the Dutch already share the HNLMS Karel Doorman amphibious operations ship with the Germans, so German shared operation of a carrier with the French doesn’t seem unreasonable.

    Personally I see a lot of upside to complement the UK for a broader European defence posture that benefits everyone.

    • Agreed it’s a good thing, just very open to taking the proverbial lol.
      Couldn’t resist. I’ll eat my hat though if they accomadate the Queen Elizabeth class design though.

      • You’re probably right re QEC adoption or lack thereof. It doesn’t particularly concern me one way or the other but no one has money to burn on defence nowadays, so if they spend more than a QEC derived design would cost, just to reinvent the wheel, then that’s money coming from elsewhere in European defence.

    • Will it be nuclear? Germany would be against that. So where do the catapults come from. Who will design and pay for electric catapults.
      There are lots of holes in this argument… but its a nice pie in the sky kite for Merkle to fly in order to get sme good EU news and propaganda out.

  8. Just for interest who’s is the CG design shown?..Did that come from the Germans or is it from the French Charles de Gaulle replacement proposal?…

    • DCNS/Naval Group Evolved Aircraft Carrier design.
      A design proposed for export which was released a couple of years, aiming at Brazil but many in French circles have had considerable interest in it as being Frances 2 carrier solution, cheaper than CdG!

      • Doubt the Brazilians will buy a French designed aircraft carrier again after the last lemon they sold them.
        But given the sentiment of the new Brazilian president to increase naval strength, with taxes/levies for that sole purpose, maybe the U.K. can build a QE class and some T26’s for them 🤔

    • Does make me wonder how the ME109 with its really narrow undercarriage would have actually held up being used on the carrier, especially when the sea conditions was anything but glass? I know the SeaFire, although was an excellent interceptor, had a notorious carrier landing accident rate due to its narrow undercarriage.

  9. In all seriousness it does actually make sense in the long run, France has one carrier that is unavailable half the time, cannot afford to run two unless making major cuts elsewhere, countries like France and Germany will always want to have a big stick if needed on the world stage and only France has it (just about) throw that prospect to Spain, Italy and a few others and they would jump at the chance.

    We have a common foreign policy with the US so are fine going forward in the short term but the EU is heading in a different direction in terms of foreign policy.

    No European country can compete with the defence spending of the US and China, Russia has the population and resources to overtake every European country, and European countries will only ever go down the GDP list overtaken by emerging economies and that means defence budgets will also be going down the list.

    By 2050 the U.K. and Germany could be 9th and 10th, the only European countries in the top 10. It’s clear that Europe will have to pool their defence resources if they want to compete on the world stage. The land mass and population sizes make that inevitable.

    My idea for our future would be to be involved with some European initiatives and start our own shared defence initiatives with possibly Canada and Australia, things off the top of my head for shared defence would be the nuclear deterrent, mine hunting, hydrographic and basic patrol, further expand on the CJEF to include other nations.

    • Completely agree, work alongside European allies on many things and have very close relations but look further afield to the likes of Canada, Australia maybe even India and do more work with them!

    • Good points, just a shame France & Germany don’t appear to be going down the F35 route for European/US interoperability. The cynic in me tells me this is more do with keeping Dassault aboard the Franco German FCAS program as they will surely insist on a marinised variant to replace Rafale…

      • Probably correct regrading Dassault and the F35, I actually thought they had been explicit about that wrt FCAS already? However, I actually welcome both Tempest and FCAS as follow on programs to Typhoon and Rafale because it keeps European fighter jet engine business alive. Without that I believe European manufacturers would come under increasing pressure with commercial only products, ultimately withering and dying away which is not healthy from either an industrial or defence position IMO. The same is true for air frame and avionics where I am sure the US, both at government and MIC level, would love to eliminate European competition.

        All that said F35 would almost certainly be the better solution for Germany’s Tornado replacement at this time. But with F35 fleets from UK, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Italy there will already be a significant 5th gen capability (not to mention US European based aircraft) and with additional Typhoon purchases by Germany keeping production lines running in Europe, the latter may be the better strategic decision for long term European aircraft manufacture.

        • “Without that I believe European manufacturers would come under increasing pressure with commercial only products, ultimately withering and dying away which is not healthy from either an industrial or defence position IMO”

          Well said.

      • No1,

        I have an issue with the “Three pillars of Western civilisation” context. Both Australia and New Zealand are in the South Pacific and in the Eastern Hemisphere. How can they be part of “Western civilisation?”

        On the other hand, if you state “Three pillars of First World Civilisation” I would have no issue with that.

        • From wikipedia

          “Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, and European civilization, is a term used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems and specific artifacts and technologies that have some origin or association with Europe. The term also applies beyond Europe to countries and cultures whose histories are strongly connected to Europe by immigration, colonization, or influence. For example, Western culture includes countries in the Americas and Australasia, whose language and demographic ethnicity majorities are European. The development of western culture has been strongly influenced by Christianity

          Australia and New Zealand are very much part of the western world.

    • Russia has the population! ?
      Where does that idea come from?
      Russians are drinking and smoking and drugging and killing and stabbing themselves to death like there is no tomorrow.

    • To be honest I’m not sure the emerging economies will ever overtake Europe. For them to do so would require their explosive early growth to be a steady state, unfortunately it’s not sustainable. Simply put most of them, including China are on a not so slow boat to population collapse due to environmental damage, food and water insecurity or demographic time bombs.

      Russia is a declining nation ( population is dropping as is productivity)
      China has a crippling demographic timebomb created by historic communist 1 child polices, an impending food crisis and is most likely to have it’s agriculture decimated in the next 3 decades by global warming.
      India does not have the demographic time bomb but is a food insecurity issue waiting to happen, as is most of south and Central America. Africa is simpler heading towards a place nation states will no longer exist in.

      The emerging Ecconomes are driving their own destruction as the strive for the same levels of wealth and power as the west.

  10. Given that the European Union is an entity somewhere between a close trading block and a quasi Nation state who will have the final say in an emergency or QR situation where the Carrier is required to actually attack some target? Would all 27 have to give the go ahead?

  11. First Japan, now Germany getting back into the “Aircraft Carrier” business. Next it’ll be Italy… oh wait, they already have aircraft carriers…

    Well finally, the Kriegsmarine will get the fleet of French ships denied to them in WW2…

    I have a mental picture of Hitler laughing in his grave…

  12. Apart from the jokes no one that I spotted (sorry if I missed it) has mentioned one potentially very frightening aspect of this. Were this idea to go ahead it would give the U.K. a pretty obvious buyer for P.o.W if the constant rumours of HMG wanting to sell her (or mothball her) were ever to turn into reality.

    Yes, because of French and German aircraft preferences I suspect the EU would want to convert her to cat & trap but in theory the existing design has provision for that possibility, EMALS systems would be more mature by the time it was considered, and the basic hull, propulsion etc would all be a well tested system thus reducing risk. I suspect it would be a much more cost effective option for Europe than designing and building from scratch.

    I’m not saying I support the idea, I most definitely do not support it, but I can see how both parties could be tempted by the option simply because of money – the EU getting the chance to save some and reduce risk and the U.K. getting the chance to raise some and reduce ongoing costs.

    • The space for cats and traps is built into the QEC carriers.

      This will never happen, France cannot even afford to run the CDG as it stands and Germany would never get the green party to support the funding to build a carrier.
      The French navy is resigned to losing the CDG after 2030 and not having a replacement as there is no funding to even plan for a replacement.
      The French navy is actually in a worse state than the RN would huge issues in the infrastructure and logistical support structures.

      • The French government recently announced funding for studies into a new carrier to be brought into service around 2030. The statement said they were looking to get a second carrier to ensure one is always available.

      • They can afford to run it as it’s about to go on deployment, going by that logic we cannot afford to run HMS Duncan that’s going with her.

        As T.S and the article said “In October 2018, the French Ministry of Defence launched an 18-month study for €40 million for the eventual future replacement of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle beyond 2030”

        • I know about the study , the French also paid into helping design the QEC the reason they quit was because they want to go the nuclear power route .

          The CDG is to be decommissioned by 2030 , the French cannot afford to replace her and actually struggle to keep her sea worthy .
          The head of the French navy is on record saying it would be better to decommissioned the CDG now than waste money on keeping her operating for another 10 years.

          I am not dishing the French wanting to replace the CDG but they just can’t afford to build 1 let alone 2 and there is no way the bundestag would vote funds to build a nuclear powered carrier .
          It is a total non starter.

          Let’s be honest building 2 carriers in the UK totally gutted the defence budget and led to the reduction of the surface fleet to pay for them .

  13. The Europeans will not be able to match us.

    South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the U.S, and maybe Chile* will be the guarantees of the world system for the next century. We have all achieved just as much if not more than the Europeans in the 20th century (with the exception of Japan’s murderous rampages in the 1st half), and we are not all engaged in trying to annihilate the nation state now, unlike the Europeans. We are the nations that will take capitalism forward and who will sustain Western and world civilisation against the predation of Russia and China. There is everything to play for.

    *yes, that sounds odd, but remember the help the Chileans gave to us in 1982.

  14. I think the naming question has an obvious answer: Graf Zeppelin.

    Germany’s first go at building an aircraft carrier that took forever to build, construction was eventually halted, and it never actually completed or entered servive and never carried any aircraft. Perfect!

  15. Good Lord I missed the fun.

    WHO is going to crew this carrier?

    Will they split the crew into a dozen national contingents all speaking a different language?

    Who will Command? Germany. France. Spain. Italy.

    I almost spat out my tea when I read of the EU’s “Global Security Role”

    They could not tie their own shoelace without assistance from the USA and UK.

  16. I am heartened that there are still things we (UK) can do that are world class as I reel from the our humiliation in the, ahem, negotiations! I hope we can sell QE technology to the EU and maybe build them some boxes and stuff given that we like French steel. Strategically China and Putinia would have to address this too and the geopolitical binary debate of The US v would be modified requiring both of them to think about the consequences of their actions a bit more.
    On balance this should be good and enable the EU to move towards the 2 percent through their own industrial activity.

  17. I would imagine the above title and picture are spot-on: “Germany Proposes European Aircraft Carrier”… using French aircraft so they don’t have to pay for them!

    In all seriousness though this will be a very interesting project: Europe building a 5th/6th gen carrier capable aircraft and new aircraft carrier.

    What format do the aircraft take?
    Are they different to the FCAS project? If not, are they happy to live with the compromises carrier aircraft require? If so, how will they afford it?
    Should they just buy F-35C? Should they buy F-35B and build a QE/PoW from plans?
    Will the carrier be part of a European nuclear delivery capability?

  18. I’ve a better idea. Rather than try and PROJECT their image around the globe as a military power why not spend the money on PROTECTING their borders. Something I’m sure the USA would prefer.

  19. I honestly don’t think this will work. If the carrier is built then I think it will be a mess. A few burning questions would need to be answered.

    1) Which nation is going to crew it? Will it be a single nation, will it be a multinational crew? Problems with either; if all the EU is funding the carrier then to crew it with only one nations sailors, e.g. Germany, would very much anger those other nations who helped pay for it. If multinational then it presents it’s own challenges such as language barrier and different standards between crews.

    2) Where will it’s home base be, and who will be responsible for maintenance of it?

    3) What exactly is this carrier’s purpose? The EU’s only potential adversary would be Russia and any conflict with them likely to be fought in Eastern Europe. Not a great need for a carrier when they could just forward base squadrons in Poland etc.

    4) As with the entire concept of an EU military; who would decide to deploy it? The current EU model on deciding anything is that all member states have agree unanimously. Going to be very slow in deciding to declare war or even just deploying such a valuable asset in times of tension if you get one country that vetos any military action.

    5) Workload. All the countries involved will be vying for their own share of the workload and also putting in their own €0.02 regarding requirements and capabilities, which will likely conflict with each other.

    6) What aircraft will operate from it? Same as above, nations may vie to get their own planes on it. Will it be Rafale? Will it be the joint Franco/German stealth plane planned, assuming it ever gets built?

    And if it does, will nations have to buy their own to put on the carrier, or will these be EU-owned and the nations just provide pilots?

  20. Smoke and mirrors, the German military is in such a bad way and their defence spending so low that they need to be making some noise about future capabilities to shut the USA up ( but Mr trump we are going to build a carrier )

    Its not just the carrier either is it ? Aircraft, support vessels, ASW ships, AAW ships. The French have deployed with our AAW ships, do they not have their own ?

    They would be much better investing the 30+ billion in bringing their existing forces up to standard, but they have zero intension of doing that as well.

    They will never build it.

    • I think HMS Duncan has slotted into the Charles de Gaulle carrier group in order to demonstrate that it can. Both for the purpose of NATO and the Lancaster House Treaty.

      I believe this kind of thing is very normal and does not indicate that the French do not have their own AAW ships (which of course they do).

      Similarly, HMS QE is currently planned to sail with a Dutch frigate (probably De Zeven Provinciën class) in 2021. Does that mean we don’t have our own?

  21. Even more funny that pic of ‘one proposal’ as its put, looks like a slightly upgraded 1950s design of an aircraft carrier. Mind you that’s almost how long France has been considering its replacement I guess. To be honest I thought it might be equipped with two islands and two bows as one might expect it to need to go in two directions at the same time.

  22. It strikes me that the French are after a second carrier as they do not have continuous carrier coverage with one deck. The were trying to get such coverage by ussing QE but when we dropped the cats and went for the F35B they were stuck.

    So now they are getting the Germans to buy them a second deck. It will have French planes on it. I am sure the Germans have a master plan on how the French can pay them back.

    Also it would not do for the EU State to have less carriers then the upstart UK…

    Rob N

    • Could of course be part of a cunning plan to justify Germany buying Rafales to replace Tornado? After all, a joint carrier with France will only work with French aircraft, so they might as well buy some more for the land based strike (and Rafale will be nuclear coded too). Simples…

  23. The threat to the EU is from Russia in the east and uncontrolled migration through North Africa. Instead of spending money on an aircraft carrier, Germany would be better served by positioning fully equipped panzer divisions in the Baltic states, Poland and Romania and fast attack boats in the Med. Identify the threat, and react accordingly instead of making up the threat and wasting money.

  24. I can’t see it getting much traction within Germany to be honest. They are even more ambivalent as a population about defence that most Europeans.

    I suspect this a pipe dream thrown to the French who are starting to get worried about the continuity of there carrier programme.

    One carrier has always been a bit pointless and France struggles to maintain its air wing.

    I would lay money that in 20 years the only full sized carriers operated in Europe will be the 2 QEs, with France operating some form of aviation capable assault ships.

  25. Its a shame that europe can’t properly coordinate its defence spending. Let the RN do the blue water naval ops on behalf of all of europe, with some contributions from the other navies for sure. Maybe Germany pays for a couple of frigates to be built and they then have german crews but are largely operated and maintained within the RN structure. They can pop across to Germany to fly the flag when needed.

    Germany then focuses on large scale defensive land warfare, which actually would be politically easy for them. They commit to a minimum operational force level, perhaps with units bolted on from the british army (reverse of the naval arrangement). We retain our light and special forces but place a small heavy armour force into a european structure. France of course huffs a bit and doesn’t quite join in.

    This would allow economies of scale and clear political focus. But it’s also a complete pipe dream as it would require a unified approach to defence issues which is way beyond the level of political co-operation possible across europe presently.

    Oh well, nice to speculate

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