In an interview with the Spanish news outlet ABC, Airbus Defense and Space CEO Dirk Hoke and the head of the company’s military aircraft division, Alberto Gutierrez, said they expect to sign a “memorandum of intentions” outlining Spain’s “financial and industrial participation” in the program.

Madrid already signed a formal letter of intent to join the program in February, opening up Spanish industrial involvement in the program. Spain is also yet to formally sign the High Level Common Operational Requirements document already agreed between France and Germany, a set of agreed requirements and mission needs the Future Combat Air System is planned to adhere to. The aim is to eliminate the complexities associated with programs like the A400M where several countries had differing requirements for the aircraft to meet.

Hoke used the interview to re-iterate the need for European governments to not repeat the mistakes of the past and build more than one new fighter in Europe like today with the Eurofighter, the French Rafale and the Saab Gripen.

“For us this is a fundamental idea,” he said. 

“No country in Europe is in a position to be competitive in the world by itself. If we want to compete with the big U.S. companies we have to have the volume, and this cannot be created in a country or two countries only… we have to work together in Europe to use limited resources,” he said.

Hoke and Gutierrez called on the government in Madrid for support for research and development projects, and a strategic industrial and defense policy to support the FCAS program.