For the general public, the French Defense Industry boils down to several well-known major players, such as Dassault Aviation, Thales or Naval Group. However, these large companies only represent part of the National Defense Industrial and Technological Base, or BITD, which although essential, would have a hard time establishing itself in France as well as for export without the network of sub- dense and very competent treatment represented by the Defense Supply Chain. However, today, between the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, the difficulties in finding a banking partner or certain unfavorable trade-offs linked to international cooperation commitments, a significant part of this Supply Chain is in great danger, and could significantly wither in the coming months. However, this key component of the French BITD is critical in more ways than one.
1- Strategic autonomy
Strategic autonomy is a very popular concept politically in France today. It was particularly highlighted during the first wave of Covid, when the French touched the disintegration of the national industrial supply, unable to produce masks, respirators, or even paracetamol. As in the medical field, large French defense companies have recourse to an ecosystem of subcontractors and service providers essential to their activity. It is naturally possible to find alternatives, sometimes even cheaper, elsewhere in Europe, in the United States, or in Asia.
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