Re: NATO... And the German car industry.
Airbus was originally proposed by Hawker Siddeley, Breguet and Nord to rationalise construction of a single airliner rather than having three competing planes each taking an uneconomically small share of the market. The name itself came from Hawker Siddeley. In 1966, the three founding partners were Sud Aviation (now Aerospatiale), Arbeitsgemeinschaft Airbus (Deutsche Airbus) and HS. The memo of understanding was signed by the UK, France and Germany in 1967.
The UK then had one of its usual fits of incompetence and withdrew in 1969, fortunately for the sake of UK aerospace, HS was allowed to continue wing design as a partner outside of the formal consortium. The UK rejoined as a formal partner in 1979 when British Aerospace bought a 20% share in the company.