World

August 5, 2013

France to cut defense jobs, hold line on spending

Sylvie Corbet
Associated Press

France plans to hold the line on military spending while reducing 34,000 defense jobs over the next five years, a decision the defense minister said would still allow the country to prepare for the future.

President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government laid out its five-year military program at a Cabinet meeting Aug. 2 that would keep annual defense spending at 31.4 billion euros through 2016 – then rising to 32.5 billion euros by 2019. Key NATO ally France would remain Western Europe’s second-biggest spender on defense after Britain.

The plan goes before Parliament this fall. Socialists and their allies control both chambers.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Europe-1 radio the plan avoids ìdrastic cuts. It does cut back on planned purchases of Dassault’s Rafale fighter jet to about 5 per year through 2019 – down from 11 previously.

The government is counting on export orders to sustain production. The Rafale, introduced in 2001, has never been exported. But Le Drian was optimistic about its future outside France, including in Qatar and India, which is in exclusive talks for the purchase of 126 Rafale jetfighters.

The minister said the five-year program allows France to prepare the French army’s adaptation to risks of the future and new threats for the coming six years.

However, there were some critics of the cuts in manpower.

To win the war always means to control territory – on the ground, in the air and at sea – and at some point … numbers count,î Gen. Vincent Desportes, former head of the Armed Forces Defense College, said on France-Info radio. ìTechnology only very partially replaces cuts.

He said he fears a diminished ability to intervene, as France did this year in Mali, leading an African force to chase out Islamist jihadists in the country’s north.

In my opinion, France won’t be able to address its international responsibilities and protect French interests, he said.

The government earmarked an average of 17.1 billion euros a year earmarked for equipment spending. For the first time, France plans to take delivery of 12 armed, long endurance drones – the U.S. system MQ-9 Reaper – and 14 shorter range tactical drones. Included in the budget is the purchase of 12 Airbus-made refueling planes, with the first two delivered in 2019.

During its intervention in Mali, France relied on U.S. drones and refueling planes.

By 2019, the French air force should also receive 15 A400M military transport planes from Airbus – the first one entering service this week – and one Barracuda attack submarine made by the French naval company DCNS.

For its intelligence services, France is looking to an electronics-intelligence satellite system known as CERES to be placed into orbit in 2020, and on two MUSIS satellites (Multinational Space-based Imaging System for Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Observation) from a European program that includes Italy Belgium, Germany, Greece, and Spain. That should be operational in 2017.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 31, 2015

News: Pilot killed in crash was helping wounded veterans – A pilot who died in a small plane crash in the desert northeast of Los Angeles was giving free glider rides to wounded military veterans. Turkey carries out first air strikes as part of anti-Isis U.S. coalition – Turkish fighter jets have carried out their first air...
 
 

News Briefs August 31, 2015

Pakistan officials: U.S. envoy discusses Afghan peace efforts Pakistani officials say visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice has discussed efforts to revive Afghan peace talks. Rice met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif Aug. 30. Two Pakistani officials say they discussed efforts to revive talks between the Afghan government...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

F-22 inaugural deployment to Europe

Courtesy photograph A pair of F-22 Raptors fly near the coastline of Panama City Beach, Fla. Four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and approximately 60 airmen arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allie...
 

 
ILS photograph

Boeing-built satellite will create first global high-speed broadband network

ILS photograph The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Aug. 28 aboard a International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–When the third Boeing-built [NYSE: BA] Inmarsat-5 sat...
 
 

Civil Air Patrol joins total force ‘Airmen’

When conducting missions for the Air Force as the official Air Force auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol is now included in the Air Force’s definition of the total force. CAP has provided 74 years of support to emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. In August 2015, the Air Force updated Doctrine Volume 2, “Leadership,”...
 
 
DOD photograph by Air Force MSgt. Adrian Cadiz

Carter announces manufacturing initiative to aid war fighters

DOD photograph by Air Force MSgt. Adrian Cadiz Defense Secretary Ash Carter announces the creation of a National Manufacturing Innovation Institute to produce hybrid electronics during a speech at the National Full Scale Aerody...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>