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 September 29, 2014

News: U.S. military limits warplanes used for Islamic State bombings - The U.S. is relying mostly on warplanes already positioned in the region for its air war against the Islamic State, as opposed to dispatching a major buildup of aerial forces that happened in previous campaigns.   Business: At DOD, it’s use-it-or-lose-it season - As fiscal 2014...
 
 

News Briefs September 29, 2014

Navy awards ship design grant to UNO The University of New Orleans has received a $210,000 grant from the Navy s Office of Naval Research to test information gathering and analysis techniques intended to improve warship design. The goal for warship designers is to produce a vessel that can be repurposed numerous times throughout its...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

TACP-M ties it all together

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Lealan Buehrer Tactical air control party specialists with the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron survey an enemy-controlled landing zone before calling in close-air support Aug. 14, 20...
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Nellis aggressor squadron inactivated

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler SSgt. Justin White signals to Maj. Sam Joplin to begin taxiing a 65th Aggressor Squadron F-15 Eagle to the runway Sept. 18, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base Nev. The roles and responsib...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 
 

Raytheon awarded $251 million Tomahawk missile contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon a $251 million contract to procure Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for fiscal year 2014 with an option for 2015. The contract calls for Raytheon to build and deliver Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the U.S. Navy and U.K. Royal Navy. Raytheon will also conduct flight tests...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>