Paris to quit Franco-German MAWS defence programme, La Tribune says

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The flags of Germany and France are seen in front of the the Chancellery, before the meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin

PARIS (Reuters) -Paris is about to leave the Franco-German Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) defence procurement programme, online newspaper La Tribune reported on Wednesday, following Germany's decision to buy maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing.

Germany's defence ministry said at the end of June that it would buy five Boeing P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, used for ocean surveillance and hunting for submarines, for about 1.1 billion euros ($1.30 billion).

Spokespeople for the defence ministries in Paris and Berlin declined to comment.

The decision has upset France, La Tribune reported, and said Paris would soon end its participation in MAWS. It did not specify a date.

A German defence source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said France had decided not to sign the pending contract for the MAWS programme for now and was awaiting the outcome of a related study that continues until the end of the year.

France is the home to the headquarters of the European project Airbus, which in June reached a truce with rival Boeing after a long battle over aircraft subsidies.

($1 = 0.8460 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain in Paris and Sabine Siebold in Berlin; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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