Existing Areas Of Cooperation Agreed By The UK And French MoDs
a. The UK/France Letter of Intent (LOI) on co-operation and areas of mutual interest in maritime defence was signed by Ministers in 1996. This covers a very wide range of activity, including operations, and 20 formal Working Groups have been established under the direction of the British and French Chiefs of Naval Staff. The working groups cover such activities as:
**Future Aircraft Carrier Development
**Training between Surface Fleets
**Operational Doctrine (Anti-Submarine Warfare)
**Operational Doctrine (Anti-Air Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare)
b. An operations cell at the Commander in Chief Fleet Headquarters, Northwood, is manned by French officers to facilitate liaison and co-operation between the Commander in Chief Fleet and the French Navy.
c. Twinning arrangement between 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and the French Marines (9 DIMA) was signed in 1995.
a. A Letter of Intent on co-operation between the British and French Armies was signed by Ministers in 1997. This aims to formalise and enhance co-operation between the British and French Armies, with particular emphasis on interoperability through harmonisation of procedures and increased compatibility of command, control and communications systems.
b. An arrangement to enhance twinning between units of the UK Land Army and Commandant de la Force dâ€™Action Terrestre was signed on 2nd July 1999. This should expand shortly to include formation level HQs.
a. The UK-France Intergovernmental Agreement, which formally established the Franco-British Euro Air Group (FBEAG), was signed by Ministers in 1998. The FBEAG, located at High Wycombe, has now expanded into the European Air Group (EAG) with 7 members. The EAG will continue to provide the framework for co-operation between France and the UK (and other nations) across a range of air issues.
Examples of activities undertaken and proposed under the auspices of the EAG are:
**Assistance to Tornado Ops over France.
**Assistance to STC recce team at Solenzara for Tornado deployment
**Tactical Fuels Initiative
**Proposed Technical Arrangement (TA) on reciprocal Air Defence Training
**Proposed TA on reciprocal air support (including air lift and AAR)
**Proposed TA on co-operation between the RAF Regt and FAF Commandos
a. A Letter of Intent was signed on 4th December 1998 at St Malo covering co-operation in crisis management and operations. The aim is to improve the capacity to plan and carry out combined or co-ordinated operations outside national territories and NATO.
b. Examples of this increased co-operation, during the Kosovo conflict were the attachment of HMS SOMERSET and HMS GRAFTON to the FS FOCH Task group in the Adriatic and the use, by UK Tornados, of Solenzara air base in Corsica.
a. The Franco-British Joint Commission on Peacekeeping was established in May 1996. Its aim is to harmonise procedures and doctrine for peacekeeping and to develop a better understanding of our respective approaches. Initiatives to date include a joint paper on peacekeeping doctrine; an exchange of officers in the area of doctrine and training; and agreement to increase contact between trainers working for the UN, particularly in respect of pre-deployment training for Bosnia.
b. Joint work in support of efforts to develop African peacekeeping capacity; includes co-ordination of activities in Africa, information exchange and participation in peacekeeping exercises in Africa.
a. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 1976 between the UK and France on the Placing of Services and Facilities of the Government of the French Republic at the Disposal of British Forces in time of crisis.
b. During the preparations for a potential Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) from Kinshasa in April to June 1997, an Exchange of Letters between France and the UK allowed use of facilities in Gabon
c. A Mutual Logistic Support Agreement was signed at the UK/France Summit on 25 November 1999.
a. Progress: Draft reciprocal airlift and sealift agreements are being staffed in the French and UK MODs (as Technical Annexes to the Mutual Logistic Support Agreement, see above). These agreements are should be concluded by the end of the year.
b. Co-operation during Operation ALLIED FORCE: During the deployment of RAF Tornados to Solenzara we were able to assist with the recovery of a French Air Force detachment returning to France.
a. Advancing the European Defence Initiative a central theme of UK/France defence co-operation since the signing of the St Malo agreement in December 1998.
b. Efforts have been made to strengthen co-ordination of Non-combatant Evacuation Operations. A combined planning exercise took place in June 1998, and identified scope for further co-operation.
c. There are good relations between Britain and France on the handling of defence intelligence matters.
d. Regular exchanges on nuclear policy and arms control issues take place through the Joint Nuclear Commission.
e. SSBN port visits to Brest in Feb 2000 and to Faslane in May/June 2000.
f. Arrangements exist for the exchange of Liaison Officers between British and French joint military headquarters to assist with the co-ordination of military planning.
g. An extensive exchange and liaison officer programme (around 30 posts)
h. Letter of Intent signed in September 1998 between respective Staff Colleges to enhance co-operation on aspects of jointery.
a. The UK and France carry out some 140 150 bilateral exercises each year. These range from very small exercises such as an exchange of officers to large scale combined joint exercises. The training covers such subjects as peacekeeping, crisis management, maritime and air exercises.
b. Examples of co-operation are:
**EX PEAN: HMS ILLUSTRIOUS operated with the FOCH Task Group in the Mediterranean during October 1999. The theme of the exercise was power projection; force projection; SSN integrated operations; management and distribution of intelligence with a Task Group. The Spanish and Italian navies also participated. This exercise demonstrated good CVS Air Group operations and interoperability in a multi-threat environment between UK, French Spanish and Italian Carrier Groups.
**The French frigate, ACONIT, has been attached to a UK Naval Task Group exercising in the Far East between May and Nov 2000. The aim of the exercise is to practise combined ROEs and SOPs mutually agreed by UK and France.
Co-operation on Operations
Recent examples include:
**Multinational Force in Great Lakes region Nov-Dec 1996.
**Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Mar-May 1997.
**Congo/Brazzaville Oct-Nov 1997.
**Democratic Republic of Congo NEO - Aug 1998.
**OP WARDEN (Northern Watch) No Fly Zone (NFZ) in Northern Iraq Aug 91-end of 1996
**OP JURAL - NFZ in Southern Iraq Apr 92-Dec 1998
**Bosnia (considerable co-operation during the UNPROFOR operation) Ongoing.
**East Timor Sep-Dec 1999
**UN Operations (UNAMSIL, UNIKOM, UNOMIG) - Ongoing
a. Equipment produced as a result of collaboration between France and Britain, and already in service, includes:
**Jaguar ground attack aircraft
**Adour turbojet engines
**Tyne turboprop aero-engines
**RTM 322 and 390 turboshaft helicopter engines
b. Collaboratively-developed equipment in or entering production includes the COBRA counter-battery radar (also with Germany) and the PAAMS surface-to-air missile system that will arm the next generation of air-defence frigates for the Royal Navy and French and Italian Navies.
c. The UK and France have committed themselves to the A400M transport aircraft and the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile programmes.
d. Study work is being carried out jointly between the UK and France under the terms of an updated MOU on Co-operative Defence Research and Technology signed on 26th April 2000. The technical arrangements which underpin this umbrella MOU include co-operation on a wide range of technologies, including advanced ship propulsion systems, developments of airframes, jet engines and airborne radars that might be applied to future combat aircraft, and airborne laser designators for air-launched bombs and missiles.
e. Collaborative programmes provide a solid base for closer links between the defence industries of France and the UK. Examples include: BAeâ€™s association with Dassault aviation in a joint venture examining future air combat systems, and with Aerospatiale-Matra at the heart of a broad-ranging European missile company; and Marconiâ€™s joint ventures with Thomson-CSF on airborne radars and sonar systems, and with Aerospatiale-Matra in the European Astrium" missile group.
f. Cross-border collaboration between companies complements traditional intergovernmental arrangements. Thus, for example, the French and British Air Forces are acquiring similar air-launched stand-off ground attack missiles (known in France as SCALP EG and in the UK as Storm Shadow) from the Matra BAe Dynamics joint venture company.
g. With Italy and Germany, the UK and France were founding members at the end of 1997 of the joint armaments co-operation organisation, known as OCCAR, which was set up to streamline collaborative procurements between two or more of the member nations. OCCAR should acquire legal personality, and thus the ability to place contracts in its own name, during 2000.