LPM 2024-2030, Rafale F5, Africa…: 2023 will have been a pivotal year for French Defense

Between a new LPM 2024-2030, major technological advances, and the profound evolution of the operational scope of its armies, the year 2023 will have been marked by significant transformations for the French armies and the country's defense industry. However, the changes initiated this year only respond to part of the geopolitical and security challenges that are emerging, making 2023 a year of notable, but partial, transition for the French defense tool.

A new Military Programming Law LPM 2024-2030 towards high intensity

Glass half full for some, half empty for others, the new Military Programming Law 2024-2030 is a continuation of the previous one, the LPM 2019-2027, it is true remarkably applied until 2023. With an overall budgetary envelope of €430 billion, the new LPM should make it possible to bring the budget of the armies up to to €67 billion in 2030, and consolidate the French defense effort above, but barely, the 2% GDP floor set by NATO.

Beyond its budgetary aspects, the new LPM confirms a slow, but significant, evolution of the French armies to adapt to new threats as well as the risk of high intensity combat against a symmetrical adversary.

LPM 2024-2030 PANG
The 2024-2030 Military Programming Law secured the development of the PANG which will replace the PAN Charles de Gaulle from 2038.

This is how several key programs have been set in stone, such as the new next-generation nuclear aircraft carrier which is to take over from the PAN Charles de Gaulle in 2038, or the standard Rafale F5, a real reboot of the French twin-engine fighter, covered in the following point.

But above all, the LPM will have made it possible to provide the first elements of response to strong expectations on the part of the armies, with the announced arrival ofa hard-kill protection system, the Diamant system, to protect the armored vehicles of the Army, and the return of capabilities to suppress anti-aircraft defenses for the air forces. The revolutions in drones, infocentric combat and artificial intelligence also feature prominently in the priorities of this LPM.

This also intends to provide a first answer to the question of numbers, and to the question of the mass highlighted by the war in Ukraine and its appalling losses. For this, LPM 2024-2030 provides for the recruitment of more than 40 additional reservists, beyond the 000 operational reservists currently under contract.

These will be broken down into active units, as well as within new regiments composed exclusively of national guards, like the 24th RI, the only unit of this type in France to date.

But the most striking point of this LPM, although often ignored, was the extreme vitality of the parliamentary debate which surrounded it, having made it possible to considerably improve and enrich it.

Sébastien Lecornu national assembly
The debate between the Ministry of the Armed Forces and parliamentarians around the 2024-2030 LPM will have enabled notable progress, and should encourage an increase in the role of Parliament in this exercise.

After a disappointing Strategic Review 2023, written as it should be in a very opaque manner, the parliamentary debate for the vote of this LPM, on the other hand, will have been exemplary, the deputies and senators, of the presidential majority as of a large part of the opposition, having made effective amendments, in a constructive dialogue with an equally involved Ministry of the Armed Forces.

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