German chancellor endorses joint European aircraft carrier

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said she would be behind the idea of a joint European aircraft carrier owned by both Germany and France.

The suggestion of such a vessel was made by Christian Democratic Union Party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who pointed out that the two nations are already working together on a future European combat aircraft as part of the Future Combat Air System initiative.

She suggested the logical next step would be a symbolic aircraft carrier to demonstrate the European Union's role in global security and peacekeeping.

Mrs Merkel has previously spoken in favour of greater defence cooperation and agreed that a joint aircraft carrier might be a good idea for the future.

"It's right and good that we have such equipment on the European side, and I'm happy to work on it," she commented, although she then added: "We have to do other things as a priority,"

These comments follow previous talks about a European army by leaders including French president Emmanuel Macron, who said last year that Europe should be more seriously building up its military and relying less on the US.

Suggestions of a joint aircraft carrier have been met with some scepticism, including from defence analyst with the European Council on Foreign Relations Ulrike Franke, who said on Twitter that the idea appears "not particularly well thought through".

Back to listing