The French defense industry is testing its new commercial doctrine in Ukraine

A delegation from the French Defense Industry traveled to Kyiv to negotiate several contracts, including in the form of partnerships with local production, in order to support the Ukrainian war effort. Although many obstacles remain, this is nevertheless a new demonstration of the paradigm shift undertaken by Paris on this subject in recent months.

As we did to ourselves echo repeatedly, France has, in recent months, undertaken a profound paradigm shift in terms of the export of weapons systems.

Indeed, Paris has until now considered major programs in cooperation only with certain close European partners, such as Great Britain, Germany, or Italy. In contrast, France classified others as clients.

But the difficulties encountered in recent years around cooperation programs with Germany (abandonment of Tiger 3, CIFS, MAWS and difficulties with FCAS and MGCS), Great Britain (FCAS, mine warfare, missiles, etc.), or Italy (Naviris), have, it seems, convinced Paris to move away from this Manichean vision, to offer a partnership approach to its most important clients.

A discreet, but radical, paradigm shift for French arms exports

The beginnings of this shift appeared around the official visit of Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, to France on the occasion of the July 14 festivities, announcing several defense industrial and technological cooperation initiatives concerning in particular the motorization of future fighters of the Indian Air Force, while beginning negotiations for the acquisition of 26 Rafale Navy and three Scorpène submarines additional.

AMCA India
The French defense industry could soon participate in the Indian AMCA and TEDBF new generation fighter programs

Since then, other similar approaches have been developed, whether with Greece regarding the manufacture of Gowind 2500 anti-submarine corvettes and additional FDI frigates, but also, more discreetly, with the United Arab Emirates around the modernization of the Leclerc tank.

It is now Ukraine's turn to be the subject of this new French industrial approach. This is based on another shift made by President Macron a few months ago, regarding France's position vis-à-vis its support for Ukraine in the face of Russia as well as for its accession to NATO and the European Union.

The French defense industry in Kyiv

Indeed, a large French industrial delegation, bringing together all the major BITD companies such as Thales, Nexter, MBDA or Arquus, as well as smaller companies and start-ups, went to Kyiv these days, to negotiate industrial cooperation contracts based on the location in Ukraine of certain capacities.

According to an article from Le Figaro, it would therefore be a question of BITD Terre Française companies creating a joint venture with a local industrial player, with the aim of deploy an infrastructure in Ukraine capable of maintaining and repairing vehicles transferred from Paris to Kyiv, such as VABs, CAESAR cannons and AMX-10RCs.

France could create a joint venture with Ukraine with the aim of deploying an industrial maintenance infrastructure for armored vehicles transferred to Kyiv, such as the AMX-10RC

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