French Defense Cut Targets Air Force Programs

13.07.2010 Europe
French Defense Cut Targets Air Force Programs

French Defense Cut Targets Air Force Programs

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In a move towards cutting its defense budget by some 3.5 billion euros, the French government plans to postpone a number of Air Force programs, including replacement of the in-flight refueling fleet and the 700 million euro upgrade of Mirage 2000D aircraft, according to Jean-Claude Viollet, Member of Parliament.




Among the programs to be delayed are the upgrade of the fleet of Mirage 2000D fighter-bombers, acquisition of the Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and level four of the SCCOA national air command-and-control system, Defense Minister Hervé Morin told a hearing of the parliamentary Defense Committee on July 7, Viollet said.


According to defense sources, Morin told the committee that some elements of the Scorpion land systems modernization program would also be postponed.

An option to buy a small number of Falcon 2000 jets to replace the Falcon 700 for the government comes due in the next few months and is under consideration.

Defense sources said Morin told lawmakers that major programs - such as the Barracuda nuclear attack submarine, Felin infantry gear, FREMM multimission frigate, Rafale fighter and VBCI armored vehicle would escape the budget cuts.

Studies are now being done on how to implement the delays to mitigate the effects, a defense official said.

The purchase of A400M airlifters will go ahead without any change in numbers, although there are questions whether Germany will buy all 60 planned units.

The revised defense budget for 2011 will be 30.15 billion euros, 30.5 billion in 2012 and 31 billion in 2013, Morin told the committee.

The figures published in the 2009-2014 military budget law were 29.65 billion for 2011, 30.32 billion for 2012, and 30.73 billion for 2013.

The 3.5 billion euros of cuts was a significant contribution by the Defense Ministry, but would leave the main operational capabilities outlined in the military budget law intact, Defense Ministry spokesman Laurent Teisseire told journalists July 8. The budget reduction would not affect staff numbers, he said 

(Source: Defense News)



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