Alsace, Suffren, SLAM-F: The French Navy reveals its new operational face

Like the Army and the Air Force, the French Navy has been extremely stretched for many years, and has suffered from a chronic lack of investment to replace its naval units, which are nevertheless in the foreground. The arrival of the FREMM frigates, from 2012, made it possible to begin a process of modernization which, today, is in full swing, as shown by 3 major events that have occurred almost in quick succession in recent days, with the tests of the Alsace frigate, followed by the delivery of the Suffren submarine, and the official launch of the SLAM-F mine warfare program. The Alsace frigate is the first unit of the FREMM DA type,…

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Logistics, tankers, ammunition: the Pentagon "concrete" the fundamentals

After years of budgetary wandering and reckless spending, the Pentagon's budget is today the subject of all the attention, as much by the General Staffs as the executive and the Congress, as the needs observed are so great, while the budget remains fixed or constrained to slow growth. If it is true that when he arrived at the White House, Donald Trump gave priority to the Pentagon budget, with an increase of nearly 15% between 2016 and 2018, planned US defense spending is expected to stagnate in 2020 and 2021, then to grow by “only” 3 to 5% per…

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Turkey rekindles tensions in eastern Mediterranean by deploying Oruc Reis

As Russia and the Minsk Group try, with relative success, to bring Armenia and Azerbaijan to the negotiating table despite Ankara's pressure on Baku to maintain the offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh , the Turkish authorities announced this morning that the mining exploration vessel Orus Reis was once again deployed in the eastern Mediterranean in an area claimed by Cyprus, naturally reigniting tensions with Nicosia and Athens after European and NATO mediation attempts, and this despite the assurances given by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, just this weekend. This deployment, which will be there…

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Submarines, light aircraft carriers, robotic ships .. the US Navy details its upcoming format

What was until now only a supported hypothesis has now taken on the stature of a long-term project. Indeed, Mark Esper, the American Secretary of Defense, detailed yesterday during a speech, the provisional format of the US Navy in the 25 years to come. As said previously, the objective will be to reach, by 2045, a format of 500 combat ships while respecting the objective of 355 buildings in 2030, in order to contain the Chinese rise in power. But far from being a simple homothetic extension of the current format, this new format, largely constrained by its budget and its human volume, also leads to a profound upheaval...

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Is the attitude of the Turkish navy in the Mediterranean a threat to Europe and NATO?

For more than a year, Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey has been providing massive support to the GNA, the Libyan government of national unity which opposes militarily the National Liberation Army of Marshal Haftar (see our two-part dossier on Turkish involvement in Libya). In a few months, the human and material reinforcements conveyed by Turkey and Qatar succeeded in reversing the tactical situation in the region of Tripoli, hitherto besieged by the ANL and its allies. In recent weeks, however, Turkish support for the GNA has pushed Ankara into playing a particularly dangerous game vis-à-vis the European Union and NATO, whose…

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Apache AH-64E attack helicopters attempt sea attack in the Persian Gulf

A few days ago, we discussed the joint trials conducted in the Persian Gulf by the US Navy and the US Air Force to demonstrate the maritime attack capabilities of the AC-130 gunship aircraft. More recently, the US Navy communicated about similar tests carried out in cooperation with the US Army and its AH-64E Apache helicopters. Once again, these demonstrations carried out directly by the units deployed in the Persian Gulf serve above all to counter a very real threat. Indeed, swarms of small boats from Iran now pose a danger to civilian shipping, US deployments, and US oil interests.

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Naval forces and coronavirus: what use for current and future health crises?

A little earlier today, we returned in detail to the deployment of the amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) Tonnerre in Corsica, in order to evacuate patients with coronavirus. With the deployment of a field hospital in Mulhouse and the use of Morphée kits by the Air Force for the transport of certain patients, the round trip made this weekend by Tonnerre between the south coast of France and Corsica shows the commitment of the armed forces in the fight against the coronavirus. However, in our article published on Friday evening about the rumors and fake news surrounding the use of armies in this crisis, we concluded with...

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The Tonnerre helicopter carrier was sent to Corsica to evacuate patients suffering from Covid-19

Last Friday, in an article dedicated to rumors circulating around the Armed Forces in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, we concluded that the deployment of additional military resources to manage the situation outside mainland France was probably imminent. Beyond the aircraft tankers used with Morpheus kits for transporting patients, we have above all mentioned the use of amphibious helicopter carriers (PHA), whose hospital facilities are particularly well equipped. The next day, we thus learned from the Ministry of the Armed Forces that a first PHA, the Tonnerre, was to leave in the evening from Toulon in order to participate in the evacuation of patients suffering from Covid-19...

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Coronavirus: armies at the heart of conspiratorial rumors

Even before the first speech by the President of the Republic in connection with the current coronavirus epidemic, on March 12, rumors concerning the armed forces were already circulating in conspiratorial circles. They sought to explain the so-called obvious links between the epidemic which was then beginning in China or Italy and the involvement of the army, if possible American for more sensationalism. In recent days, in France, some of these rumors have found a certain echo and a sounding board on all social networks, from Twitter to Facebook via WhatsApp. Others have also suddenly appeared by diverting facts and…

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Due to the coronavirus epidemic, NATO exercise "Defender 2020" will be reduced to its bare minimum

It was to be NATO's response to the gigantic real-life exercises recently carried out by Russia and its allies, notably during Vostok 2018, but also the largest military exercise carried out in Western Europe in a quarter of a century. Defender 2020, also called Defender, was to consist of deploying nearly 20.000 American soldiers in Western Europe, via transport by ships and planes staggered between the end of winter and spring 2020 to European ports and military bases. They would have joined around 17000 European soldiers there, making it possible to conduct a series of maneuvers and exercises in around ten…

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