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Spain grants $3.5 billion in loans to boost European fighter jets



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MADRID, Nov 28 (Reuters) -The Spanish government has approved two loans totalling 3.15 billion euros ($3.46 billion) to a consortium developing fighter jets within the international Eurofighter programme, the industry ministry said on Tuesday.

The first loan, worth 1.75 billion euros, is for the "modernisation, evolution and logistic support" of the EF 2000 (III) aircraft.

Eurofighter Typhoon jets are built by a consortium that includes Spain's ITP Aero, European planemaker Airbus AIR.PA, Britain's BAE Systems BAES.L and Italy's Leonardo LDOF.MI.

The other grant, amounting to 1.4 billion euros, will partially cover the costs and investments needed to carry out Spain's Halcon programme, which is managed by NATO's Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency.

Industry Minister Jordi Hereu said it was essential for Spain to "prioritise the strengthening of the national defence industry and the development of a European industrial and technological base".

He added this meant making efforts to boost research, development and innovation, as well as attracting talent and increasing training.

Both multi-year loans will be charged to the industry ministry's expenditure budgets for the years 2023 to 2027.

($1 = 0.9111 euros)



Reporting by David Latona
Editing by Mark Potter

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