What will be the priorities of the next French Military Programming Law?

Until the beginning of the Russian intervention in Ukraine, the French executive had one watchword and only one concerning the conduct of the defense effort: All the Military Programming Law 2019-2025, but that the LPM 2019 -2025. Designed on the basis of the 2017 Strategic Review, itself strongly constrained by the 2013 White Paper, the 2019-2025 LPM aimed to repair the significant damage resulting from two decades of under-investment in the French armies, even though the operational pressure remained very high. It is clear that in 5 years, the situation of the armies has greatly improved, with an annual budget increased by €8,5 billion, i.e.…

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SHIELD airborne system's high-energy laser soon ready for testing

Since the mid-60s, increasingly modern anti-aircraft defenses have continued to pose a growing threat to air forces, and to armies which, like Western forces, base most of their firepower on this component. The Vietnam War, then that of Yom Kippur, made the staffs aware of this threat, leading to the design of new aircraft designed to challenge these systems, either based on stealth like the F-117A Nighthawk, or on the low-altitude, high-speed penetration like the Tornado, the Su-24, the F-111. The Gulf War...

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The French Armies (also) need a €100 billion recapitalization plan

Barely days after the start of the Russian offensive against Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz presented to the Bundestag, the German parliament, a plan to invest a €100 billion envelope intended to repair some of the most criticisms noted within the Bundeswehr, while engaging a dynamic in order to bring the country's defense effort beyond the threshold of 2% of GDP required by NATO by 2025. Since then, the vast majority of countries Europeans, whether or not they are a member of NATO, have announced a significant increase in their own defense efforts, all committing themselves, on longer…

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DARPA wants to allow KC-46 tanker planes to recharge drone batteries with a high-energy laser

The Pentagon's innovation agency, DARPA, has issued a request for proposals regarding the possibility of equipping US Air Force KC-36 and KC-135 tanker aircraft with a high-energy laser pod capable of transfer energy to drones in flight, so as to extend their autonomy and lighten their energy storage devices. DARPA, the U.S. Armed Forces Innovation Agency, issued a request for information on June 13 regarding a device capable of transferring energy between a tanker aircraft, such as the KC-46 or KC-135, and a drone in flight, through a high-energy laser embedded in a…

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US Congress speeds up withdrawal of US Air Force's oldest planes except A-10

Since the mid-2010s, each new Pentagon funding law has given rise to a showdown between the US Air Force and the US Congress, over the accelerated withdrawal of aircraft deemed unsuitable for modern operational needs, so as to free up budgetary and human resources to accommodate new equipment, and in particular the F-35A Lighting II and the future NGAD, intended to replace the F-22 by the end of the decade. And each year, an aircraft concentrates this opposition, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the mythical low-altitude fire support aircraft, which was designed to eliminate tank columns...

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Chinese Air Force shows extended capabilities around Taiwan

Chinese air force incursions into the Taiwan Air Identification Zone have been a daily occurrence for several months. But since the show of force on April 10 with 52 aircraft in flight simultaneously, these missions have until now been limited in volume and ambition. The November 28 mission was notable in more ways than one. Indeed, not only did it involve 27 aircraft simultaneously, the largest number of aircraft since last April, but for the first time, one of the Chinese air force's new Y-20U tankers accompanied the five H-bombers 6 and its escort of four J-10C fighters and…

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What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Air and Space Force?

On the night of April 13 to 14, 2017, 5 Rafale aircraft from the Saint-Dizier base escorted by 4 Mirage-2000-5, 2 Awacs aircraft and 6 KC-135 tanker aircraft, carried out a 10-hour raid and 7000 km to strike and destroy using the 2 SCALP cruise missiles carried by each of the Rafales, the Syrian chemical installations used by the regime of President Bashar El Assad, within the framework of a tripartite coalition bringing together the United States, the Great Britain and France. Despite the significant Syrian anti-aircraft defenses implemented, all the targets targeted by the coalition strikes in…

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What is the record of Emmanuel Macron's five-year term in terms of Defense?

With the confirmation of a new € 1,7 billion of the Army budget for the year 2022, bringing it to € 40,9 billion, i.e. an overall increase of almost € 9 billion since 2017, the government and the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, confirm stricto-senso compliance with the 2019-2025 Military Programming Law, and the promises made by Emmanuel Macron during the previous presidential campaign

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Ultra-long-range air-to-air missile race accelerates between US, China and Russia

From the early 60s, the rise of the Soviet long-range bomber fleet became a major problem for the US Air Force and US Navy. In an attempt to protect the fleet from raids by Tu-95, Tu-16 and Tu-22 bombers armed with powerful, often supersonic anti-ship missiles, the US Navy simultaneously developed two complementary weapon systems: the triptych consisting of the surface missile -air SM-2, the SPY-1 radar and the AEGIS system which equipped the Ticonderoga class cruisers and then the Arleigh Burke Destroyers to respond to the potential saturation of traditional defense systems which required a radar of…

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Lockheed-Martin and Airbus to face Boeing for new US Air Force tanker contract

In 2008, Airbus, then EADS, and the American Northrop Grumman, won the KC-X competition to provide a new tanker aircraft to the US Air Force, with an aircraft designated KC-45A derived from the A330 MRTT. But following legal protests from Boeing, which offered its KC-46, the decision was taken to cancel the competition to make a new one. Faced with intense lobbying from the American firm, and the withdrawal of Northrop Grumman from the partnership with EADS, the Seattle aircraft manufacturer finally won the new competition in 2011, on the basis of a Boeing B-767 adapted to the needs of the 'US Air Force, and designated KC-46A. An order of 179…

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