French Army Discussions & Updates

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Eurosam unveils new SAMP/T air defense variant at Dubai Airshow​

By Agnes Helou
Nov 16, 2021

NDIR6QQF4BCGVF4YFY7YH442TI.jpg
The SAMP/T NG uses the Aster 30 Block 1 missile. (Agnes Helou/Staff)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The European consortium of Thales and MBDA unveiled its new long-range, ground-based air defense system, SAMP/T NG, the updated variant of the SAMP/T already in service with the Italian Army and the French Air and Space Force.

“The ground-based air defense system has undergone verification, qualificatio,n and launched production in 2021, and is expected to be delivered by 2025 to the first contractor: France and Italy,” Eva Bruxmeier, Eurosam’s managing director, told reporters at the Dubai Airshow, which is taking place Nov. 14-18.

SAMP/T NG was designed to protect armed forces and sensitive civil or military sites. The system has a 150-kilometer interception range and a 350-kilometer detection range, and it features a 360-degree multifunctional radar fitted with a rotating active electronically scanned array antenna based on gallium nitride technology — either the Kronos Grand Mobile radar by Leonardo, which Italy chose, or the Ground Fire 300 radar by Thales, which France chose.

@Picdelamirand-oil Bit confusing this story. Does the NG exclusively use Block 1 missile or both Block 1 & 2? Is 150km range with Block 1? Has it entered service?
 
WHAT THE BLOCK 1NT BRINGS TO THE ASTER FAMILY ?​

Aster 30 Block 1NT modification consists in a new seeker operating in Ka band and a new weapon controller and retains same size, mass and booster:
  • Extension of the Extended Air Defence domain
    • Current Aster 30 Block 1 missile with Ku-band seeker allows for neutralization of 600 km range ballistic threats (Scud class)
    • Aster 30 Block 1NT Ka-band seeker brings
      • Increased target acquisition range
      • Acquisition of targets with lower radar cross section
      • Thinner angular resolution for increased accuracy of target localisation
      • Increased direct impact probability
  • Increased footprint of defended areas
  • Full compatibility and interoperability across ground and naval systems
All these features bring a step change in capability:
  • Aster 30 Block 1NT covers the entire SRBM (Short Range Ballistic Missile) threat domain and the entry of the MRBM (Medium Range) domain up to 1.500 km range
  • Aster 30 Block 1NT is capable of coping with Tactical Ballistic Missiles with separable warheads
  • Combined use of Ku-band and Ka-band Asters will provide increased resistance to Electronic Counter Measures
Current Aster 30 Block 1NT contract covers:
  • Development of the new ammunition
  • Upgrade to the SAMP/T system to allow combined use of Aster 30 Block 1 and Aster 30 Block 1NT
This new programme brings further potential due to family concept of systems:
  • Currently, Aster 30 is the missile of the PAAMS systems on French and Italian frigates and of the Sea Viper system on Royal Navy Type 45 destroyers, dedicated to the Anti Air Warfare mission
  • Italian Navy has selected Aster systems based on Aster 30 Block 1NT for 5 ships of its new PPA (Pattugliatori Polivalenti d’Altura) class
  • Royal Navy has engaged feasibility studies and trials to extend the Sea Viper capability to cope with the emerging ASBM (Anti -Ship Ballistic Missile) threat
 
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WHAT THE BLOCK 1NT BRINGS TO THE ASTER FAMILY ?​

Aster 30 Block 1NT modification consists in a new seeker operating in Ka band and a new weapon controller and retains same size, mass and booster:
  • Extension of the Extended Air Defence domain
    • Current Aster 30 Block 1 missile with Ku-band seeker allows for neutralization of 600 km range ballistic threats (Scud class)
    • Aster 30 Block 1NT Ka-band seeker brings
      • Increased target acquisition range
      • Acquisition of targets with lower radar cross section
      • Thinner angular resolution for increased accuracy of target localisation
      • Increased direct impact probability
  • Increased footprint of defended areas
  • Full compatibility and interoperability across ground and naval systems
All these features bring a step change in capability:
  • Aster 30 Block 1NT covers the entire SRBM (Short Range Ballistic Missile) threat domain and the entry of the MRBM (Medium Range) domain up to 1.500 km range
  • Aster 30 Block 1NT is capable of coping with Tactical Ballistic Missiles with separable warheads
  • Combined use of Ku-band and Ka-band Asters will provide increased resistance to Electronic Counter Measures
Current Aster 30 Block 1NT contract covers:
  • Development of the new ammunition
  • Upgrade to the SAMP/T system to allow combined use of Aster 30 Block 1 and Aster 30 Block 1NT
This new programme brings further potential due to family concept of systems:
  • Currently, Aster 30 is the missile of the PAAMS systems on French and Italian frigates and of the Sea Viper system on Royal Navy Type 45 destroyers, dedicated to the Anti Air Warfare mission
  • Italian Navy has selected Aster systems based on Aster 30 Block 1NT for 5 ships of its new PPA (Pattugliatori Polivalenti d’Altura) class
  • Royal Navy has engaged feasibility studies and trials to extend the Sea Viper capability to cope with the emerging ASBM (Anti -Ship Ballistic Missile) threat
So the Block 1 NT is same size as Block 1, so is the range 150km for Aster 30 or Aster 15? And it can hit 1,500km range SRBMs.
 

Crotale NG Short Range Air Defence System​

Crotale NG (Next Generation) is an all-weather short-range and multi-sensor air defence system developed by Thales Air Defense (formerly Thomson-CSF Airsys).

Frequency​

S-band pulse Doppler radar

Modes​

Sectored surveillance, search on the move

IFF​

Built-in IFF antenna

Range​

20km

1657200884247.png
 
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Macron présente une loi de programmation militaire 2024-30 de «transformation des armées»

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Macron presents a military programming law 2024-30 of "transformation of the armies".


President Emmanuel Macron unveils on Friday 20 January the main orientations of the future military programming law 2024-2030, placed under the sign of the "transformation of the armies" against the backdrop of the return of war in Europe, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago. The head of state will speak about the new LPM during his wishes to the armed forces, at 11:45 am, on the air base of Mont-de-Marsan (Landes). A highly anticipated programmatic text, while the war in Ukraine has highlighted weaknesses in the French military system.

The law, which will be presented to parliament in March, promises to continue the financial effort in defence after a 2019-2025 LPM of 295 billion euros, which had put an end to years of budget cuts in the armies. "We are moving from a logic of repair to a logic of transformation of the armies. We must be able to be more effective and efficient," the Elysée stressed.

The head of state could specify this Friday the amount he intends to devote to defence over the next seven years, which could exceed 400 billion. A large budget increase, however, tempered by inflation and the explosion in energy costs. The war in Ukraine has pushed the most reluctant Europeans to spend more on defence. Last year, Germany released €100bn to modernise its armed forces.

Adapting to the risks of major inter-state conflict

The new LPM will focus primarily on sovereignty, while France intends to remain a power "respected for its status as a nuclear-armed state, a driver of European strategic autonomy, an exemplary ally in the Euro-Atlantic area, a reliable and credible partner", Emmanuel Macron stressed in early November when presenting the latest national strategic review.

Efforts to modernise the French nuclear deterrent - to which 5.6 billion euros in payment credits are allocated in 2023 - will be continued. Cyber capabilities will be "very significantly strengthened" to have a "first rank cyber capability". Overseas will be the subject of "additional investments" in terms of capacity and manpower, in order to "have strengthened sovereignty forces to be able to give a claw to anyone who would like to attack our interests", particularly in the Asia-Pacific, where China's expansionist aims are a cause for concern, according to the Elysée Palace.

The future LPM will also seek to adapt to the risks of major inter-state conflict ("high intensity"), in an increasingly tense geostrategic context. "We must all carry out an introspection in the light of Ukraine", insists the presidency, which wishes to "adapt our command organisation to be able to act in the physical and immaterial fields, to act in a joint manner, as well as to act in a short loop from intelligence to action in an increasingly efficient manner", as the Kiev army is managing to do.

It's a simple, secure and tax-efficient solution that boosts motivation, increases recognition and builds loyalty among your employees.

"France is not Ukraine"

On the other hand, the Elysée warns, there is no question of copying French capability needs on those of the Ukrainians. "France is not Ukraine, it does not have the same security interests, it does not have a border with Russia, we have nuclear weapons and we belong to the European Union and NATO," the presidency stressed. On the other hand, it will be a question of filling the gaps in the field of drones and prowling ammunition, which were used extensively in the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Ukraine. France also intends to strengthen its ground-to-air defence and deep strike capabilities.

The president should not, however, detail the capability objectives of the armies on Friday, the Elysée said. In accordance with Emmanuel Macron's desire to develop a "war economy", the LPM will set the objective of "having optimised production cycles to meet the needs of the armies", both in terms of ammunition and "to respond quickly to the expectations of a partner" such as Ukraine, the Élysée said. The executive "expects the defence industry to make a greater commitment" to lowering its costs and the maintenance costs of equipment, which will have to be produced more quickly, even if it means being less sophisticated.

Anxious to strengthen the nation's "moral force", the Head of State has finally set himself the goal of doubling the number of reservists, which currently stands at 40,000.
 
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Discours du Président de la République

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Speech by the President of the Republic


Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is now customary for me, despite all the episodes and crises, to devote some time at the beginning of each year to our Armed Forces. I am delighted that this meeting is being held this year in this imposing air base of Mont-de-Marsan. As is often the case in these exercises, it is an opportunity to take stock of the past year, to pay tribute to the efforts and sacrifices of our military personnel before outlining the contours of the year to come, by highlighting a few of the main themes of the moment.

These periodic meetings also allow me to tell you how much the Nation trusts you. How grateful we are for your self-sacrifice, for the commitment of those who support you, for the valour shown by our wounded and the energy of those who care for them, and for the resilience and attachment of your families. For me, it is also always an opportunity to spend time with you, behind the formality of military ceremony. But today is undoubtedly a rather special occasion because it is also about the future that I have come to speak to you. The future of our armies.

Two months ago in Toulon, I presented the vision of the National Strategic Review for our country. Now, I would like to talk to you about how this vision should take shape, through the military programming law, the draft of which will soon be submitted to the national representation. And as a preliminary remark, I would like to point out to you how exceptional the exercise that has been carried out is. Exceptional, first of all, because it follows, for the first time in decades, the perfect execution of the previous law, thanks to the commitment of all the ministries and our parliamentarians, and I thank them for that. It is also exceptional because of the depth of the work of reflection which has mobilised many energies and minds and which has been led by all of you, and I will come back to this.

But my comments today are addressed to you as much as to the entire nation. Firstly, because the military programming law reflects the country's efforts in favour of its armed forces. And these efforts will, in the years to come, be proportionate to the dangers, that is to say considerable, above all because this programming law exercise includes, in its instruments and in its very architecture, the requirement for everyone to be mobilised.

Indeed, the programming law constitutes the collective path on which we will embark. It is the strategic gesture par excellence, the one that, based on the analysis of our strengths, our specificities, threats and vulnerabilities, embodies choices that will bind us for decades. What presided over the first of these at the beginning of our Republic after strange defeats and unexpected setbacks, what nourished their deployment, their revision, their bias, was a simple idea: never be late for a war, never seek to intellectually win the previous conflict, but allow the country to be ready for the one that may come. So we must be one war ahead. We are back to this imperative: this military programming law will therefore have to draw the conclusions of what our era has in store, with of course that part of the cunning of history that we cannot predict. And I wish here to reinforce the assurance of each and every one of us, of our forces, of a whole people, that in the face of the metamorphosis of war, France has and will have armies ready for the perils of the century.

Indeed, as the National Strategic Review detailed, the threats are multiple and are aggregated rather than succeeding one another. On the one hand, there are high-intensity conflicts in Europe, a stiffening of the will to power against the backdrop of the crisis of multilateralism. There is no longer any peace dividend because of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. And the brutal costs of the violence of the age are before us. In Europe, Asia and the Indo-Pacific, the international order is giving way to a state of nature between nations the likes of which we have not seen for decades. The Eastern Mediterranean, the straits of the Indian Ocean, the South China Sea or the approaches to Taiwan, among others. These are places of regular tension. Our Overseas Territories are increasingly exposed in this context. And the conflict now affects all spaces, all areas, including the Internet, social networks and the impalpable field of information.

On the other hand, new threats are emerging and these are linked to global, climatic, energy and technological changes, with the risks of destabilisation that these shifts can create. Finally, the old, low-key risks persist, such as terrorist attacks and jihadist violence which, although they have been reduced, have not disappeared.

What characterises our decade, then, is this accumulation of threats of all kinds and in all geographies. It is like an anthology of the risks of war that have tempted many generations before us. Unbridled imperialism, nuclear proliferation, terrorist violence. Very old wars, others more novel, but all of which add up and can feed on each other.

These forms of conflict, however, take on a new face that often oscillates between sophistication and brutal simplicity. Sophistication with a technological race, from cyber to quantum, via artificial intelligence tomorrow. And almost naked brutality, in Ukraine in particular, with a return of scenes that we thought belonged to the imagery of Verdun or the Somme. Global rearmament is thus taking place at both ends of a polarised spectrum. Between the high-tech and the low-tech, which can batter a powerful and well-equipped army, but vulnerable at the top and bottom of its range. One of the pitfalls would be to exhaust oneself by seeking only technological refinement, the other would be not to invest in these new means. These new conflicts, despite the excellence of our intelligence, are more diffuse, and are working in a muted way on an already fragile international order. The violence of the world has indeed retained its element of surprise. And likewise, tomorrow's operations will not be a full-scale rehearsal of exercises worked out in the bedroom.

We must therefore give priority to speed of action and rapid build-up of power over the intellectual purity of an abstract model, because we will not choose the conflicts we have to face. And then, what characterises the new conflicts of our century is undoubtedly the blurring between open, explicit conflictuality and repeated, systemic, pernicious malice. War is no longer declared, it is waged quietly, insidiously, it is hybrid. The targeting of infrastructures of national but civilian interest is our common lot, I am thinking of cyber attacks, among others. And since our armies are made up of men and women who live in a society that is itself in a state of flux, we must draw all the conclusions and ensure vigilance, permanent mobilisation and the ability to resist in the privacy of our society.

Finally, let us never forget that our nation is an archipelago. And if the security of the metropolitan territory is assured by all of you, our Overseas Territories must never leave our sight and our presence. And the course of the world puts many of these territories, particularly in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, in the front row of possible future confrontations.

From this picture of perils, it is logical to deduce the risks and to define the courses of action. We must foresee and anticipate, and prepare for the world to come, even if habits, known equipment, and patterns must sometimes be shaken up. We must integrate the era of the drone, invest in quantum technology, and not only believe in intelligence, even if it remains and will remain essential. But complement it, multiply it tenfold by artificial intelligence. Finally, to strengthen a nation of living souls in order to have all the necessary moral strength.

The 2019-2025 military programming law had a clear vocation: to repair our armies, to give them back the breath, the means, to get out of the logic of scarcity and to recover the levers of action. Thanks to your collective work and the vigilance of your leaders, this undertaking is progressing and also thanks to the fact that all these commitments have been respected to the euro. But this work must continue. During my many visits to the forces, I have been able to see the difference that this fundamental work has made and created, both in concrete and moral terms.

The new military programming bill intends to pursue and amplify this effort to rebuild our armed forces. And basically, after having repaired the armies, we are going to transform them. We must gain the time that separates us from tomorrow's conflict. Yes, the Nation has a duty to transform its armies by naturally preserving its strategic invariants, by relying on the excellence of its soldiers and their dedication. But we must also, as a Nation, transform ourselves, be ready for more brutal, more numerous and ambiguous wars, as I have just mentioned.

This is the high ambition of the military programming law. To meet it, we need major resources. While the 2019-2024 military programming law represented an effort of 295 billion euros, I can tell you now that I will ask the national representation to allow us to devote, over the period 2024-2030, a budgetary effort of 400 billion euros, which will make it possible to cover a total of 413 billion euros of military needs in order to renew this precious military tool which serves our freedom, our security, our prosperity and our place in the world.

In total, these two military programming laws will therefore have led to a doubling of our armed forces' budgets. I say this with gravity, these are considerable resources which amplify a defence effort whose dynamics are unprecedented for five decades. These exceptional resources obviously make great demands. It is the price of our children's security, it is the price of our rank to hold, of our values to defend, of a long history of glory and freedom, the next chapters of which we must write. We must take this essential step in order to build our armies of tomorrow, even if it is only a step.

For these 413 billion dollars do not in themselves make it possible to design the new face of our armies for the century that is beginning. But they are the beginning of an unprecedented investment, a profound change that will then be irreversible. We must not do the same with more, we must do better and differently. Because the world is not waiting for us, because rivalries are sharpening appetites and strategies, because we must hold our ground.

Our challenges for tomorrow are, first of all, to continue to defend interests that do not vary, i.e. the defence of our national territory and, in particular, of our overseas territories and our fellow citizens; the security of our close neighbourhood, from the Mediterranean to the Balkans, from the Near and Middle East to Africa, and the fight against climate change, always and again, of course.

It also means adapting to the contemporary requirements of a robust and credible nuclear deterrent, defending our interests in all the places where new forms of conflict and non-compliance with the law are expressed, where new ways of challenging a future for everyone that is free, safe and sustainable are developing, sometimes insidiously.

It means thinking differently about our partnerships and alliances, while remaining a leader in Europe and a reliable ally in NATO. It means better capitalising on the exceptional relationship built with countries such as Greece, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and India.

It means continuing to deepen structuring partnerships, such as those we have with Germany, and I will have the opportunity on Sunday with Chancellor Scholz for our traditional Franco-German Defence and Security Council to discuss this again, as well as with the United Kingdom; we will be holding our bilateral summit with Prime Minister SUNAK in a few weeks' time; and with Italy and Spain, with whom we have just signed a cooperation and friendship treaty renewing the framework of our defence relations that dated from the 1980s.

Finally, it is to ensure, if circumstances so require, that France would be capable of building and commanding a first-rate coalition, with its partners, to defend the interests of Europe or its allies. This is a responsibility that only she in continental Europe would be able to assume and we must have the means to do so. This is why, at my request, the Chief of the Defence Staff has proposed to me an evolution of our army model which favours coherence over mass, reactivity without sacrificing endurance.

This means, first of all, consolidating our core sovereignty, whereas the model of the previous military programming law emphasised expeditionary capacity and the fight against terrorism. It is therefore first of all to strengthen our deterrence by giving us all the means to ensure its robustness, reliability and modernisation in the specific and changing conditions of today's world. Deterrence is an element that makes France a different country in Europe. By analysing the war in Ukraine, we are once again measuring its vital importance. It deserves the considerable efforts that we are devoting to it, at the technological level and by the requirement that it implies, it pulls up all our armies. At a time when deterrence has perhaps never seemed so necessary, we must defend it forcefully, and this also means making it better understood by those whom it questions.

The core of sovereignty is also the strengthening of permanent postures. This implies increased intelligence capabilities that enable us to anticipate crises or threats. I have constantly insisted on the need for France to have its own intelligence, enabling us to make independent decisions and take action. This is what has enabled us, among other things, in recent years, to carry out Operation Hamilton in 2018. This upcoming military programming law will massively increase intelligence credits by nearly 60% in total, with, among other things, the doubling of the budget of the DRM and the DRSD, increased surveillance capacity, with drones in particular, and means of action in our sovereign spaces, means of intervention in particular in our DROMs and COMs, or capacities providing a first local reaction must be able to be completed by the projection of substantial reinforcements.

It means maintaining mutual support between the armed forces and the internal security forces and civil security forces in order to respond better to crises, such as health or climate crises. But sovereignty also means the capacity to resist, our resilience and first of all cyber resilience. I would like us to double our capacity to deal with major cyber attacks. Also in the face of all the threats that may affect our society and the destabilisation that these could cause, the more general resilience of our society, its moral strengths already mentioned, the capacity of our nation to mobilise in the face of the unexpected, as it did during the pandemic, is essential. To this end, I would like to double the operational reserve, which will enable us to reinforce our active army and the rise in power of new reserve units such as territorial units and coastal flotillas. In this respect too, the Universal National Service will enable us to have a youth ready for all perils and I will have the opportunity to come back to this in the weeks to come.

Secondly, transformation means being able to move from a model designed to ensure operations in environments where our freedom of action was strong, to a capacity to evolve in contested environments, faced with seasoned adversaries, technologically formidable across the entire spectrum of conflict. This is what I call the pivot to high intensity. We must be able to act more quickly, to be more reactive: by reinforcing the national emergency echelon and thus having the necessary means for a short-notice intervention even far from the metropolis. And to do this, while increasing these capacities and this reactivity, we must also increase our capacities to last and resist efforts and wear and tear effects. To do this, we must resolutely increase operational readiness, reinforce the availability of equipment, adapt our alert stages to the intensity of the threat, and think and build our ammunition stocks, our logistics and our support accordingly. We will succeed all the better if we are able to manage crises differently by controlling the footprint and duration of our distant operations.

And in this respect too, by reinforcing our special forces and providing them with the equipment they deserve, i.e. the best, the most adapted and obviously, the one that draws all the consequences from the most advanced technologies. But faced with stronger adversaries, we will also have to act more strongly in order to quickly obtain decisive military effects. This implies hardening our tool. We will thus switch to the all Rafale and maintain this exceptional aircraft at the best world level, we will resolutely pursue the modernisation of our land forces by accelerating the digitisation of the battlefield and making a particular contribution to the new cyber battles, we will increase the power and protection of our frigates and, of course, we will develop the new-generation aircraft carrier, and we will also have to innovate by developing remote-guided munitions and expanding the use of UAVs by doubling our investments in this respect. By investing in quantum technology and artificial intelligence, which will also help to ensure our cyber security and improve our intelligence resources. If we harden the tool, and I have just given a few examples here. The Minister of the Army will have the opportunity in the coming days and weeks to detail all this.

Operational support will also have to be tightened up. The environment of our forces. In particular, we will have to improve the balance between equipment, maintenance, ammunition, operational activity and logistical coherence, strengthen our support services, which in the past have sometimes been used as an adjustment variable, and reinforce our health services. This will require a vast consolidation effort which has been fully integrated into the planned format and the contract which are thus declined.

We will also be able to combine military effects thanks to the digitalisation of the battlefield, and I am thinking in particular of collaborative combat capabilities, such as the SCORPION land system and tomorrow, among others, the Air Combat System of the Future, the SCAF, which we are launching with Germany and Spain. We will strengthen our capabilities in areas with high operational added value, solar defence, because even with deterrence, our national territory is not safe from isolated strikes, for example from disruptors, particularly non-state actors. That is why we will increase our capabilities in all layers of air defence by at least 50%, including of course in anti-drone warfare. Long-range strike, suppression of adversary air defences and of course anti-submarine warfare will be part of these priorities and of this reinforcement. The third pivot of the transformation concerns the common spaces. We will not necessarily be tested or challenged tomorrow by shock and fire. Our adversaries may want to use the whole range of ambiguous actions, direct and indirect, interference, unclaimed actions, perhaps also fait accompli, intimidation, malicious manoeuvres designed to impede, coerce, trap, perhaps blind, without always confronting. We must be able to respond to this plurality of actions on the margins of the territories, on the margins of the law. And so we must anticipate by detecting weak signals, by adopting a decompartmentalized and proactive approach, from influence to direct action through an effort in the military, but also informational, digital, cultural, economic and industrial fields. An effort in which the Armed Forces bear an important part without having a monopoly.

To this end, we will strengthen our capacity to monitor and react, but also to take the initiative, to pass clear strategic messages in outer space, in digital space and in maritime spaces. We will thus continue to increase the power of our space capabilities, relying much more on the services of the New Space, surveillance, communication, protection, from now on even more, will be the key missions that we will develop to make France a space power. We will further develop our means of action in digital space, by giving ourselves the means to attract civilian and military talent, by remaining at the forefront of innovation in this field, one of the most important for the future.

Finally, in the maritime area, we need to have naval capabilities that match our country's maritime assets. France has the second largest exclusive economic zone in the world thanks to our overseas territories. This is an immense asset, but it is also an immense responsibility, including in terms of environmental and climatic issues and the protection of certain infrastructures and our territories. I also want us to be able to acquire the capacity to control the seabed to a depth of 6,000 metres for military reasons, but also for the protection of our critical underwater infrastructures. I also want our armed forces to have a greater and better presence in our overseas territories and for them to be a strategic constellation that is both a bridgehead and a lookout point for our interests in the world. I will soon present the concrete and operational deployment of this overseas strategy. Finally, connecting all of this, we will have to overhaul the joint operations command, in particular to better fight against hybrid strategies.

The last pivot of the transformation that I would like to mention to you concerns the international partnership. These partnerships can only be envisaged in the framework of our Europe. Our security depends on that of our neighbours, our partners with whom we share values and interests.

What binds us together is not only treaties, but also a certain idea of the world, both in terms of defending the territory of the continent and in terms of carrying elsewhere what moves us as 27. Interoperability and, of course, a common strategic culture must be emphasised.

In recent years, we have made enormous progress in this area: from the creation of a European Defence Fund to structured cooperation, to the European intervention initiative, to unprecedented operations such as Takuba, including also through revolutionary bilateral partnerships such as CaMo with Belgium. This is what we must pursue. Our country will be able to assume all its responsibilities in Europe and beyond. If tomorrow a major partner has to look elsewhere, we will have to be able to act with the Europeans within NATO or outside the Alliance and, if necessary, to provide the command capabilities that will allow us to conduct a large-scale operation together. For us, this will mean being able to deploy a joint capability of up to 20,000 troops. This gives you the measure of the challenges and the ambition that we have.

It is also our other partnerships that we will have to renew. I will shortly be talking about our links with Africa. But we will keep alive and increase the density of the exceptional partners that we have already led and that I mentioned earlier as an example. With them, I hope, others will come, such as Indonesia, and we will have to explore how to develop new capability cooperation, new interdependencies, new forms of training and joint action. This is an extraordinary asset that I wish to develop. It makes perfect sense for countries like ours that do not wish to be prisoners of great rivalries between third parties in the future.

As you will have understood, it is therefore an entire programme of transformation that is proposed here. Thus, this military programming law will enable France to become an even stronger country in the defence of its sovereignty, more capable of acting in common spaces, supported by historical but also renewed partnerships, and having the capacity to involve its allies if necessary in a large-scale operation and to exert its influence. In short, a country that is more sovereign, enterprising, agile and able to take the initiative.

This strategic update must allow us to match ideas and budgets to perils and threats. Only at the end of this effort will France be able to fully and confidently ensure the free exercise of its vocation and heritage. This high ambition is therefore accompanied by a requirement that is no less demanding, first of all in the framing of these resources. There is no luxury, ease or comfort in this project. There is only what is necessary. At a time when every euro of the French taxpayer must be spared, we had to find the best compromise between a defence worthy of our ambitions and the essential principle of sobriety. I believe that we have succeeded.

This has not been without work for the armed forces, I know that and I have been able to measure it. There have been choices to be made, targets to be adapted, modernisations to be staggered. Above all, there are important expectations. They are addressed to the armed forces, to the DGA, which will have to organise themselves to shorten the acquisition cycles, to accelerate the expression of needs, to drastically reduce the normative constraints, to develop innovation of use, that of the real users, and I know how much you are attached to this, all of you, as once again our Ukrainian friends are giving us such a fine example. We can do much more quickly, much better, sometimes at a lower cost, if we know how to bring together those who use and innovate.

These expectations also apply, of course, to the defence industry, which plays such an important role, and I would like to thank them this morning, because they are a key component of our sovereignty. And I say it clearly, the efforts of the State, of the whole Nation, must be matched by a requirement for efficiency and availability. We will have to learn collectively to assume a perpetual mutation. To do things differently, to drastically shorten production cycles, not to give in to over-sophistication as in other technological sectors, to adapt our equipment and our production cycles more quickly to the needs of our partners and to the requirements of a conflict. And this must be done in the long term.

I would also like to reduce the costs of acquisition and maintenance in operational condition through a combined effort by the State and industry. Last July I spoke of a war economy. That is our collective horizon. But an economy of war underpinned by such an investment by the Nation is not a sort of perpetual emergency which would make us spend badly, it is building the conditions of a sustainable sovereignty where we spend better because the expression of needs is clearer, the commitment to adaptability is more constant, and costs are better controlled. We provide visibility beyond even a decade.

Faced with this, we must be sincere and demanding. The second requirement, after the one I have just mentioned on the means, is to continue to invest resolutely in our human resources: our soldiers, sailors and airmen, civilian and military defence personnel, to ensure the development and maintenance of skills, with the absolute priority of retention, which is a very important subject. It is not only a question of pay or pension, even if I am vigilant about it.

Retention also depends on the meaning given to the daily activity, on the availability of equipment, the variety of missions, the cohesion within the units. And I salute the investment of the army chiefs of staff who pay the greatest attention to these essential conditions of morale in our units. Loyalty is also based on the efforts devoted to reducing the constraints imposed on your loved ones, and I am counting a lot on the second phase of the family plan, just as the wounded plan remains essential for me, as I said forcefully on 13 July in front of many of you, and I thank the Minister and the Secretary of State for seeing to it.

The last requirement, obviously, is that of execution. Our greatest risk in the face of such an uncertain world was not to give ourselves the means to achieve our ambition. This risk, as you can see, has been averted. But we must now, in a concrete way, create the conditions to have the means of our ambitions, right down to the ammunition, the spare parts, the most concrete elements, in training as well as in operation, for each and every one of us. Execution will be at the heart of the coming months and of our obsession.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to conclude by thanking all those who have worked on this, it must be said, monumental work. I would obviously like to thank the Minister of the Armed Forces, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, the General Delegate for Armaments, all the directors of the Ministry and all the teams. I know the hundreds of hours spent questioning the model, challenging the figures, questioning each column. I myself have questioned the Minister and the CEMA at length and on many occasions, and I would like to thank each and every one of them for this enormous amount of work, which was carried out with a great deal of energy.

I would also like to thank the parliamentarians who have been involved in the National Strategic Review, who have already been associated by the Minister of the Armed Forces with the work of reflection that has been underway for several months and who, tomorrow in committee, will carry out this work that is so valuable for analysing, debating and enriching the text. They will be able to do this all the more acutely thanks to the initiatives of the chairmen of each committee, which will facilitate the next phase of drafting our military programming law. The draft law that will be submitted to the national representation is solid. It is a coherent, robust project that draws lessons from the past and positions us for the future. A project of national sovereignty.

This sovereignty would be neither ambitious nor coherent without its European dimension, which must be strongly developed in terms of military capabilities and arms cooperation, of course, but more generally for the implementation of the priorities of our strategic compass. Our sovereignty is also energy, technology and industry, it is economic, financial and budgetary. This is why it will require, beyond this programming law, a series of laws, concrete actions, and the mobilisation of the entire nation. Civilian mobilisation is inseparable from the military effort. Here too, what we have been experiencing on European soil for almost a year in Ukraine teaches us this.

Finally, it includes a military dimension, naturally, which this programming law must make it possible to forge, consolidate and guarantee. I am now counting on the wisdom of the national representation to legislate and to adopt a text by the summer so that the objectives set out in the future law can be taken into account as soon as possible, because we know that we must move forward.

But I am also counting on you, soldiers, sailors, airmen, engineers, technicians, military and civilian personnel of the services, our directorates and our staffs. This military programming law is certainly a programming exercise, but it is also an art of execution, as I mentioned. You will be the beneficiaries. It is a responsibility and I am counting on you and your leaders to lead the transformation effort that it entails. And I know that I can count on you, always at the same time, to carry our flag high and obtain the success of France's arms.

I therefore wish you performance, excellence and audacity for 2023, but also for the years that follow, in order to achieve together the ambition that we have set ourselves.

But what underlies it is the fortitude that I mentioned on 13 July last, which is in you, and which I have seen every time I have come across your brothers in arms, leaving or returning from operations. It is in you, every day, because it is the deepest vocation of our armies and it is the most important. This is not a number, it will never be an equipment, nor a capability; it is the deep, existential choice that you made when you signed up to serve France in our armies. This choice, the way in which you make it, the way in which you live it, the way in which your families live it with you is our greatest strength by far. And I want to tell you today that it is also my greatest pride.

I am infinitely grateful to you for this, and never, never give in to it. Tomorrow we will have an army that will not look like the one we have today. But what will remain full and complete, constant, is the respect we have for you, the recognition of the entire nation, the confidence of the nation. And I want to show it to you here today. I am proud of you and grateful for what you do.

Long live the Republic! And long live France!
 
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Some features of the French LPM for 2024:

Important because it embodies the first step of the LPM, the PLF 2024 provides €3.3 billion in new resources to bring the armed forces budget to €47.2 billion excluding pensions. Up 46% since 2017, the envelope will be equivalent to 1.94% of France's GDP. France will then be only a few hundredths of a point away from the target set 10 years ago by NATO, a milestone of 2% of GDP reached between 2025 and 2027, according to the ministerial entourage.

For once, the majority of funding will be devoted to equipment. Of the €28.3 billion earmarked for this purpose, almost half will be used to fund orders for major programs excluding deterrence.
[...]
Thus, €600 million will be devoted to space, €400 million to drones and robotics, €500 million to intelligence, €250 million to surface-to-air defense and €170 million to special forces. Another major change in the LPM is the €1.5 billion investment in munitions.
[...]
The latter's workhorse, programmed equipment maintenance, will benefit from a €745 million increase, for a total of €5.7 billion invested to improve fleet regeneration and availability.
[...]
The upward trend in innovation funding continues, with €1.2 billion invested in breakthrough technologies, including €22 million for the Franco-German MGCS tank program. Funding will also be used to launch demonstrators for the COLIBRI and LARINAE tactical land robot, drone swarm and remotely-operated munitions.
[...]
This budget confirms the continuation of the army's major capability programs. Symbolic of the renewal of the middle segment, the SCORPION program will continue with the delivery of 138 additional Griffons, 38 Jaguars and 103 Servals, as well as the first eight Griffon MEPACs.

The regiments will also receive 21 renovated Leclerc tanks, 12 CAESAR cannons, five Tiger attack helicopters upgraded to HAD standard and two Caiman helicopters. As a further demonstration of the attention paid to ammunition stocks, the land forces will receive new batches of medium-range missiles (MMP), Mistral missiles, 155 mm shells and ammunition of various calibers.

As for orders, new batches of SCORPION vehicles will be notified for the production of 253 Griffons, 97 Servals and 45 Jaguars. While completion of the Leclerc refurbishment project now extends beyond the scope of the LPM, the final 100 units will be ordered. The coming year will also see the gradual transition to F3 uniforms with multi-environment paint scheme (BME).

Several programs will materialize for support regiments and support units, all players for whom capability renewal has become a matter of urgency. For example, the Ministry is set to deliver the "light-heavy crossing system" (SYFRALL) for the engineers, in time to meet the LPM target of eight gates in service by 2030. The Service de Santé des Armées (SSA) will receive 103 ambulances "to support operational readiness activities". Lastly, the renewal of logistics fleets will get underway with the order of 70 new-generation tankers under the CCNG program. Trucks to be delivered to the Operational Energy Service from 2026 onwards.
 
For 7 years? Seems less, no?
The text refers to the PLF 2024 which is also the first year of the LPM so what this extract says is that the budget for 2024 will be 47.2 billion not including pensions, and that of this amount, 28.3 billion will concern equipment. So it's for 2024 only.
 
The text refers to the PLF 2024 which is also the first year of the LPM so what this extract says is that the budget for 2024 will be 47.2 billion not including pensions, and that of this amount, 28.3 billion will concern equipment. So it's for 2024 only.

Okay, so about €250B for equipment for the next 7 years then, going by previous reports? That's okay I guess. If we assume a few other European countries match that, then we get somewhat of a balance between Russia and Europe, with the US making up for the rest.