I don't see (perhaps my eyesight is bad) that Spain has a lot to add to the Franco-German project. Orders, yes, but in smaller numbers than the other 2. On the design and engineering fronts, can Spain plug a gap in the capabilities of the other 2 or simply duplicate what they already have? In terms of funding, I guess Spain would be the smallest contributor. In what way would Spain deserve to be seen as an equal partner?
Spain sees themselves as equals
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... me-455828/
Madrid says that the country is joining the initiative on "equal terms with France and Germany" and that the project will give Spain "leadership visibility" within European security and defence policies.
I agree though, what they actually offer the program isn’t great although Indra, Spain’s industrial lead for FCAS, is trying to claim EW leadership. Spain’s Indra claims lead in EU electronic-warfare push for future aircraft
https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... -aircraft/
Spanish military-electronics specialist Indra has claimed the lead in a program meant to equip future European military aircraft with new electronic-warfare capabilities, according to a company announcement.
The project, named Airborne Electronic Attack, falls under the European Union’s latest batch of so-called PESCO initiatives, which are meant to foster collaboration among member nations in key military areas. Besides Spain as the lead nation, Indra said France and Sweden also are participating, as will Germany and Italy, though those countries were still absent from a roster published online by the European Defense Agency.
According to industry sources, the agency could hand out a contract to begin work on the project in the first quarter of 2020. The partner countries are expected to position their respective go-to suppliers to jockey for position, namely Thales, Saab, Hensoldt and Leonardo.
The EU’s airborne electronic-attack project could take on some of the supporting work for a manned fighter under the the Future Combat Air System program, a next-generation aerial weapon developed by France, Germany and Spain. That future aircraft will need sophisticated jamming capabilities, and the PESCO format could offer Indra an avenue into the major program’s work share at a time when the details of Spain’s participation have yet to be fully sorted out.
Indra is the Spanish national industry lead for FCAS, while Airbus and Dassault play those roles for Germany and France, respectively. Spain’s defense companies expect one-third of the business flowing from the program, an Indra spokesman told Defense News.
The last sentence in bold being most illustrative of where Spain sees their position.
I don't follow your Rafale comment. What other countries might be inclined to order Rafale in exchange for FCAS participation?
France’s play for the Belgium fighter contract included the inducement of work and participation on FCAS aside from the other threats Dassault made about loss of future industrial work in the country.
https://www.aerotime.aero/clement.charp ... ean-offers
While Dassault did not openly respond to the call for tenders, it offered for Belgium to collaborate on the development of the F4 standard of its Rafale, and a participation in the Franco-German Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program.