Military Program Law 2019-2025: "Renewing the Military"
(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued Feb 08, 2018)
(Issued in French; unofficial translation by
France has announced plans to invest €295 billion to replace military equipment worn out by foreign military operations, but only €198 billion will be available before 2023, making it unlikely that all planned investments will go through. (FR MoD photo)
PARIS --- The draft Loi de Programmation Militaire (LPM, or Military Program Law) was presented today (Feb 08) to the Council of Ministers. Covering the period 2019-2025, this project was prepared in record time and mobilized all the services of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. It should be passed by Parliament this summer.

This bill includes an increase in the defense budget that breaks with the past negative spending trends in the defense effort.

This multiyear program law:
-- confirms the commitment by the President of the Republic to increase the defense budget to 2% of GDP by 2025;

-- foresees a financial effort of € 198 billion over the 2019-2023 period, and calls for total expenditure of € 295 billion over the period 2019-2025. This represents an average budget of 39.6 billion euros per year over the next five years (the 2018 budget is 34.2 billion euros, and already benefits from an increase of 1.8 billion euros);

-- responds to the stakes posed by the Strategic Review presented last October. In an unstable and uncertain strategic environment, in an era of major turbulence marked by the persistence of the terrorist threat, more assertive power strategies, harsher conflicts, better equipped adversaries, and the emergence of new challenges including digital, what model of army does France need to be at the level of its ambitions?

This LPM therefore proposes a complete and balanced army model, capable of fulfilling its missions in a sustainable way and in the long term, through a double ambition:

-- What is essential today: give back now to our militaries, and in priority to the men and women who make them live and act, the tools to durably carry out their missions.

-- What will be needed tomorrow: to prepare the future of France's defense by 2030 and to help build a European defense.

This translates into 4 major axes that structure the LPM:

1. A man-made LPM
The LPM is located at "man's height", paying particular attention to soldiers, sailors, airmen, civilian personnel who serve our armies and their families: training, operational preparation, personal equipment, package, training, and immediate support.

-- 100% of the military personnel deployed on Overseas Operations will be equipped with the new fireproof combat uniform from 2020 (the first 23,000 will be delivered this year). All forces will have been reequipped by 2025.

-- 55,000 bullet-proof vests of the latest standard, of which 25,000 will be delivered next year; 100% of National Guard soldiers will be equipped by 2019.

-- 32,000 CBRN (Chemical, nuclear bacteriological and nuclear) sets of protective clothing will be delivered in 2020, and nearly 165,000 sets will be delivered over the entire 2019-2025 period.

-- Nearly 43,000 new helmets will be delivered over the 2019-2025 period.

-- EUR 530 million will go to finance the Family Plan for the period 2019-2025.

2. Renew operational capabilities
The LPM provides for the modernization of our operational capabilities, to fill existing capability gaps and to prepare for the future.

-- Army: As part of the acceleration of the Scorpion program, 50% of the new medium armored vehicles (Griffon, Jaguar and VBMR-light) will be delivered by 2025.

-- Navy: the first four Barracuda-class nuclear attack submarines, the last three FREMM multi-mission frigates and the first 2 FTI Intermediate Frigate will be delivered. Three Lafayette-class stealth light frigates will also be upgraded.

-- Air force: six armed Reaper drones, the first European male drone system, 83 fighter aircraft (28 new-build Rafale and 55 upgraded Mirage 2000D), and 12 Multi Role Tanker-Transport aircraft will be delivered by 2023.

-- This LPM also launches the renewal of the two components, oceanic and airborne, of the nuclear deterrent forces.

3. Guarantee our strategic autonomy and support the emergence of Europe’s
The LPM is a commitment to our strategic autonomy with increased means for intelligence or struggle in cyberspace. It takes the side of cooperation and Europe.

-- Cyberspace: 1.6 billion euros spent fighting in cyberspace and 1,000 more cybercriminals by 2025.

-- Intelligence: 1,500 new posts as well as 4.6 billion euros of investment for its equipment (satellites, drones, electronic warplanes, etc.).

- Space: deliveries of new surveillance and telecommunication facilities (2 observation satellites, 2 telecommunication satellites, 1 listening satellite).

- International cooperation: increase the number of military personnel from 20,000 to 30,000 trained by the French armed forces in host countries, and propose to European partners to participate in these training actions, to act collectively in advance of possible crises.

4. Innovate to face future challenges
This LPM paves the way for resolutely modern and innovative armies, with more funding for research, for innovation, for the renewal and acceleration of our major weapons programs. It also provides for a major program of transformation and modernization of the Ministry, to ensure that every euro is invested most effectively in the service of our armed forces.

-- Research and development: the budget for studies and innovation increases from 730 million euros today to 1 billion by 2022.

-- an average of 1.8 billion euros will be spent each year on the preparation of future weapons programs (design studies concerning future combat aircraft, the future battle tank, the successor to Charles de Gaulle).

-- Modernization of the ministry: 14 departmental modernization projects including the conduct of equipment programs, maintenance in operational condition, innovation, digitization, the central and territorial organization of the ministry, support for the forces.

With sincerity and realism, the military programming bill 2019-2025 establishes and mobilizes the resources to match the ambitions and issues that directly affect the safety of the French people, today and tomorrow.

This bill opens the way for modern, agile, resilient, protective armed forces that fully benefit from their revival.


France to Boost Military Spending
(Source: British Forces News; issued Feb 08, 2018)
French President Emmanuel Macron's government is ramping up military spending, arming drones and hiring more "cyberfighters" for Europe's biggest army.

The move comes amid demands from NATO and US President Donald Trump for European countries to pitch in more for their own defence.

The French defence minister presented a bill foreseeing €295 billion (£257 billion) in overall defence spending from 2019 to 2025.

That includes €1.7 billion (£1.48 billion) in additional spending each year until 2022, particularly to modernise equipment and improve intelligence.

Defence minister Florence Parly told reporters: "The world is more uncertain, and the threats are more and more diffuse."

She insisted that France needs more defence spending to maintain its global influence and "intervene where its interests are threatened, and where it's needed for international stability".

France has thousands of troops overseas, from the Middle East to Africa, and will be the EU's only nuclear-armed nation when Britain leaves the bloc next year.

The military upgrade is part of Mr Macron's efforts to beef up collective European defence capacity and strengthen the EU as Brexit looms.

The plan aims to fulfil Mr Macron's campaign promises last year to raise defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2025, in line with what NATO wants from all members.

At a NATO summit in May, Mr Trump reiterated longstanding US pressure on allies to increase military spending.

After a steady decline in defence spending and personnel cuts under Mr Macron's predecessors, the government is now promising 6,000 more jobs by 2025.

The bill also includes France's first armed drones, new nuclear combat submarines, more fighter planes and new intelligence satellites.

It will go to parliament, where it is expected to face a few months of discussion before a final vote this summer.

France's military chief quit last year after a spat with Mr Macron over defence budget cuts.


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