French defense exports have been moving, for many years, between second and fourth place in the world, far behind the United States, but often neck and neck with Russia and Great Britain. In recent weeks, most of the major international players in this field have announced spectacular increases in their exports in 2023, whether Germany at €8.5 billion , Turkey at €4.4 billion , South Korea at $17 billion , or Israel at $12.5 billion .
These figures, impressive in fact, pale in comparison to the order intake recorded by the French defense industry in 2022. Indeed, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, revealed, in front of the National Assembly, that those -this had reached €27 billion in 2022 , an absolute record in this area.
A record order intake of €27 billion in 2022 for French defense exports
After the €11.7 billion in order intake for 2021 despite Covid, ranking the year in the Top 3 of the best years in this area for the French defense industry, the year 2022, without much surprise, will have broke all records. But with a total order intake of almost €27 billion, it can leave you speechless.
Unsurprisingly, because the United Arab Emirates' only contract, with 80 Rafale F4s, their maintenance systems and their munitions, which was announced for this year, represented €14 billion alone, more than the best year ever recorded in this year. domain.
The surprise came, however, from other export contracts, representing almost €13 billion, signed by French manufacturers during this period. We obviously see the effects of the Russian invasion of part of Ukraine, such as the Czech and Lithuanian CAESAR guns, but for many, these are contracts negotiated for a long time, such as the Croatian and Indonesian Rafale . , i.e. upstream of the start of Russian aggression.
A positive Defense industrial balance for France
These amounts, exceeding €12 billion in net orders, also mean that the French defense industry now exports more than it produces new equipment for its own armies. Indeed, the cumulative investments of Major Effect Programs and R&D of the French armies stand at around €12 billion.
This observation has also allowed the Ministry of the Armed Forces to significantly change its outlook in terms of investment, letting manufacturers, and their possible future export clients, take a greater share in development investments, in order to reduce the bill. for the French armies, without reducing volumes. In these times when all the millions of euros saved can make the difference, this joint paradigm shift between the ministry and manufacturers is obviously welcome.
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