July 16, 2018 / 3:55 PM / a year ago

Airbus says Europe, UK should work together on future fighter

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Airbus is pictured at the Airbus A380 final assembly line at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac, near Toulouse, France, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

FARNBOROUGH, England (Reuters) - Britain and Europe should work together on a future combat air system, or risk further fragmenting the European defense market, Airbus (AIR.PA) defense chief Dirk Hoke said on Monday, after Britain pushed forward with its own new fighter jet program.

Airbus and France’s Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) have partnered to work on a separate Franco-German future fighter program first launched by those two countries in 2017.

Hoke, chief executive of Airbus Defense and Space, told Reuters that European industry executives backed joining forces to proceed with a combined fighter program, once the details of Britain’s exit from the European Union had been worked out.

“If the politicians decide differently, we’ll have to adapt, but in my opinion that would be bad for Europe,” he said.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Victoria Bryan

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