Is French on-board hunting threatened by the next military programming law?

In order to meet the security challenges imposed by geopolitical and technological developments, in particular the emergence of new significant military threats, including in Europe, President Emmanuel Macron announced, shortly after his re-election, that a new Planning Law would be designed to be presented in the first quarter of 2023, and voted on immediately by Parliament, probably before the summer break. Beyond a strategic review of the most obscure, mixing in its conclusions strategic objectives, means and cooperation, it is since then very difficult to obtain from the Ministry of the Armed Forces as well as from the General Staff, information on the content of this new LPM which will cover the period 2024-2030. At best, we now think we know that the budget allocated to the armies over this period would reach €410 billion, or €58,5 billion per year on average.

But there are certain aspects of this LPM to come which appear already defined, such as the reinforcement of artillery and long-range strike capabilities, anti-aircraft defense and maneuver capabilities, in response to lessons learned from the war in Ukraine. Thereby, according to the Blablachars blog, always very well informed in his field, it would seem that the Army would consider acquiring new tracked infantry fighting vehicles based on the Swedish CV90 platform and the CT40 turret which already equips the EBRC Jaguar, so as to have one of the best VCI of the moment, combining mobility, protection and remarkable firepower. Similarly, the Air Force seems well destined to have, in the years to come, a reinforced anti-aircraft defense, with the arrival of new SAMP / T Mamba batteries with, among other things, advanced anti-ballistic capabilities. since the arrival of the Aster Block 1NT missile.

PANG Vandier Leconru Defense Analysis | Nuclear weapons | Fighter jets
The PANG was undoubtedly the main attraction of the Euronaval 2022 show. Here from left to right, Admiral Vandier, Chief of Naval Staff, Emmnuel Chiva, DGA and Sebastien Lecornu, Minister for the Armed Forces.

But beyond this "potential good news", and despite a budget that will once again be considerably increased to reach a defense effort of more than 2,25% of GDP, it seems that severe trade-offs are also being considered, such as the early withdrawal of the Mirage 2000 from the Air Force, so as to free up human and budgetary capacities to meet the defined objectives. And in this area, the hypothesis that comes up most often when talking to people said to be "close to the file", is none other than the cancellation of the new generation aircraft carrier program PANG , or even the outright elimination of naval aviation on-board fighter capabilities, replacing them with capabilities based on drones and traditional long-range air power projection. If for the time being, no firm arbitration has been made on this subject, such an abandonment would constitute a profound break in the military means available to the French armies to weigh in crises beyond its national or allied air bases.

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