The Operational Buffer, an alternative to strengthen the Armies and the Defense Industry

Faced with the rapid upheavals affecting the geostrategic balances in the world, the French armies, like the national defense industry, face a complementary problem but without an obvious solution. Indeed, the armies keep repeating, more and more audibly, that they lack means, and in particular heavy means and manpower, to carry out their missions in a context where high-intensity engagements could once again become possible, even becoming the norm. At the same time, the French Defense industrial and technological base, or BITD, although it currently has relatively sustained activity, clearly lacks medium-term visibility, but…

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Bringing France's defense effort to 3% of GDP: necessary? sufficient? sustainable?

During his last hearing as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces by the Defense and Security Commission of the National Assembly, General Lecointre, questioned by a deputy on what the armies would need to find a defensive posture comparable to that of the 60s and 70s, replied not without malice “4% of GDP, like at that time”. Beyond the touch of humor of a remarkable soldier with a more than exemplary career, General Lecointre clearly posed to the deputies the problem which underlies the efficiency and performance of our armies today, namely the 'nerve of war', the budget they...

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Franco-German defense industrial cooperation crystallizes opinions in France

In recent weeks, the Franco-German defense industrial cooperation programs, such as the SCAF new generation combat aircraft program and the MGCS combat tank program, have encountered many difficulties. Faced with a certain intransigence and excessive demands on the part of Germany, the French Defense Industry, but also a significant part of national public opinion, has braced itself in a posture of hostility, with the aim to protect the defense industry as if to sometimes oppose the very principle of European cooperation. This debate, which was held mainly on social networks and in a select committee, has today crossed a new threshold,…

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The 5 strategic challenges of the French Defense Industry Supply Chain

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 a part of the National Defense Industrial and Technological Base, or BITD, which although essential, would have great difficulty in establishing itself in France as well as for export without the network of sub- dense and very competent dealing that the Defense Supply Chain represents. However, today, between the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, the difficulties in finding a banking partner or certain unfavorable arbitrations linked to international cooperation commitments, a significant part of this Supply Chain...

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For French defense minister Florence Parly, armies' fundings can contribute to the economic recovery of the country

It is no longer a mystery: the coronavirus health crisis has caused a global economic crisis, the extent and effects of which are still difficult to assess. In the months and years to come, budgetary difficulties will accumulate for most countries, including France. As we have already seen in Thailand or Germany, defense budgets may be used by some governments as an adjustment variable in order to reduce state operating expenditure and redirect budgets to other sectors, such as health or social protection. However, in a recent statement, the French minister…

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Will the French Navy be widely equipped with a 40mm RAPIDFire gun?

The question of medium artillery on the surface ships of the French Navy has already arisen for several years, to the point that the general configuration of the artillery pieces of the future FDI frigates took some time before being relatively fixed. Today, in addition to a few 100mm guns arming the oldest frigates and avisos (which have become deep-sea patrol boats), the Navy articulates the artillery of its buildings around two main guns: the 76mm from Leonardo as well as the 20mm Narwhal from Nexter, which is used in addition to the 76mm on the frigates and as the main part on the new patrol boats. However, since the appearance of…

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Can we merge the SCAF and Tempest programs into a single European program?

After the call from Patrice Caine, CEO of Thales, it is the turn of Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, to call for the rapprochement of the SCAF programs bringing together Germany, Spain and France, and the TEMPEST program led by the UK, with support from Italy and Sweden. But beyond the declarations of intent, is this rapprochement relevant, or even possible, given the parameters surrounding the two European programs? Lessons from the past At the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, Europe managed to develop 3 fighter aircraft programs, the French Rafale, the Swedish Gripen and the Typhoon bringing together…

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How could a light fighter program preserve the French military and industrial potential?

France is currently engaged in a European program, alongside Germany and Spain, aimed at designing and building an air combat system of the future, or SCAF, intended to replace the Rafale and Typhoon of the air forces. of the 3 countries, from 2040. In the meantime, this same program will produce technologies that will be used as technological bricks to modernize the Rafale and Typhoon combat aircraft, so as to keep them at the level of the operational and technological challenges of the future. By doing so, the authorities will be able to share the development costs of the device and the constituent technologies, and produce...

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The European Defense Task Force Defense French SMEs, a good idea?

While the major national defense groups are, for many, engaged in consolidation processes on a European scale, a very large number of SMEs in the sector, providing a very significant share of the technological and economic production of the BITD, fear for their to come up. It is in this context that the deputy Didier Baichère, co-president of the study group on the defense industry of the National Assembly, proposed the creation of a "European Task Force" intended to support French SMEs in Brussels, during European calls for tenders. Indeed, unlike other countries, the French BITD still relies heavily on a galaxy of SMEs and ETIs...

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The French State refuses to hand over the majority of KNDS to Rheinmettal

During an eventful hearing by the Defense Committee of the National Assembly, in particular because of the very polemical and approximate biases of certain parliamentarians on the subject of French arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Minister des Armées, Florence Parly, responded to the demands of the Rheinmetall company concerning the control of the KNDS company. As a reminder, the KNDS Company, which brings together the French Nexter and the German Krauss Maffei Wegman, is co-owned 50% by the French state, and 50% by the Baude family, which owned KMW. The second German player in the armored car market, Rheinmetall, has joined forces with the Baude family...

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