Companies must agree quickly or risk delay of Franco-German jet, minister says

BERLIN, April 20 (Reuters) - Germany urged the companies working on the development of a future Franco-German fighter, Europe’s largest defence project, to present a viable agreement on handling intellectual property rights or face months of delay.

“We as politicians expect the industry to jointly find a viable basis (for the next steps of the project) which we can accept,” German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said after meeting her French counterpart on Tuesday in Paris.

There are several open questions, she added, including the lack of an agreement about the handling of intellectual property rights for the project that has been plagued by squabbling between Airbus and Dassault as well as tensions between Germany and France.

“We have made it very clear again that we expect this in the coming days because otherwise we will run into problems sticking to the time frame. And we don’t want FCAS to be delayed for several months because we cannot start parliamentary discussions in time.” (Reporting by Sabine Siebold Editing by Madeline Chambers)