France Changes Priorities in Defence Procurement
French author Jean-Marc Tanguy investigated what the new Military Programming Law (LPM) would bring to France. He reminded Macron’s opening speech at the Eurosatory Defence exhibition in Paris, where the president called for France to transition into a ‘war economy’ following a re-evaluation of the current LPM.Regarding figures, the existing LPM covers the period 2019-2025 and includes a total investment in the armed forces of €295 billion. This investment increases from €40.9 billion to €45 billion. Macron’s new LPM will cover a more extended timeframe (2023-2030) with better finance for specific projects. There are no details about funds management, but Tanguy makes a smart guess. He assumes the French MoD and its DGA procurement arm would shuffle specific priorities. He believes France would invest in naval ammunition and modernise the French Air and Space Force. The author quotes Shephard, that expects France to prioritise aviation. Namely, NH90 tactical transport helicopters and the C130H Hercules air lifters are available.According to Tanguy, the Russian invasion of Ukraine changed the nature of French defence industry programmes in two ways. France donated some of its military equipment to Ukraine. It has to replace them. French Armed Forces need to have priority. Secondly, the French strategy previously aimed to reduce dependency on the US. France is facing a reliance on air platforms and ISR technologies. However, the US still supplies many critical capabilities for France. The dependency may continue as it is.According to the article, France will have to acquire loitering munitions and keep up with Franco-British programmes, particularly concerning missiles. They will be used in aerospace and navy.The article does not mention an investment in land forces. Considering the geographical distance between Russia and France, it can be assumed that land forces will not be a priority for the French Armed forces until at least 2030, the end of this LPM.The article does not mention another aspect of the defence industry; export. It can be assumed that France feels war is imminent, domestic requirements are prioritised, and export may wait until demands are met.