These 4 arms programs as necessary for the armies as for the French defense industry

As the Eurosatory exhibition comes to an end, after having been one of the richest editions of new products in the last 30 years, the feeling towards the French defense industry appears mixed to say the least..

Indeed, if certain French innovations were presented, and contracts signed, it appears that the strategies and equipment presented by other BITDs, particularly European ones, sometimes seemed more advanced, and often more voluntary, whether in the field armored vehicles, anti-aircraft systems or drones.

However, the perception of a possible partial downgrading of the French defense industry does not only affect land weapons, and may, in the long term, harm national exports in this area, and therefore the fragile balance at the heart of the industrial equation of French strategic autonomy.

To reposition this industry in its global ecosystem, as well as to provide armies with the equipment that will make them more effective and dissuasive in the decades to come, it would probably be relevant to rely on certain complementary, but more diversified, medium-term programs. , than those currently under study, and thus rediscover the dynamic that was that of France, in this area, at the beginning of the 90s.

In this article, four of these programs are studied, as relevant for the French armies in the emerging world, as for the French defense industries, in order to preserve all of their skills and their export markets: a new tracked armored platform from the 40 ton range, a 105 mm Caesar howitzer, a hybrid multipurpose destroyer with modular capabilities as well as a standardized mission module.

A 40-ton multi-purpose tracked armored vehicle platform

Of all the developments in the field of land armaments, highlighted by the Eurosatory Exhibition, it is undoubtedly the return of the need for heavier, better protected and tracked armored vehicles, which stood out among visitors and analysts. specialized.

Tracked armored vehicle KF41 Lynx Rheinmetall Eurosatory 2024
Rheinmetall is multiplying the versions of its 40-ton Lynx platform, including as a tank destroyer.

Indeed, with the Ukrainian conflict highlighting the limits of armored vehicles on wheels, particularly in terms of mass, therefore protection, and mobility in soft terrain, many armies, particularly in Europe, and industrialists, have massively reinvested in the field, presenting new models of combat tanks, but also versatile tracked platforms, such as the KF41 Lynx from Rheinmetall, the Spanish Ascod, or the Swedish CV90.

If these models were initially used to design infantry fighting vehicles of 35 to 40 tonnes, better protected and better armed than the French VBCI, they have since been derived in numerous specialized versions, as carriers of systems of artillery or drones, anti-aircraft systems and even light tanks and tank destroyers, simultaneously meeting the needs of their armies and strong European and global demand.

French industry, for its part, remains particularly absent from this field, which is in high demand, both to equip itself with infantry fighting vehicles and with mobile and under-armored anti-aircraft and artillery systems.

Indeed, apart from the Leclerc, and the very promising Leclerc Evolution, whose destiny is still far from assured, no tracked armored vehicle was presented during this show, KNDS France, like Arquus and Texelis, having presented exclusively models on wheels.

However, most French experts in the field, such as Marc Chassillan, or Yann Boivin, underline this purely French bias, aiming to favor only the wheel, to maintain projection capacities by air transport, to the detriment of line engagement capacities.

CV90 Ukraine
Tracked infantry fighting vehicles are widely acquired by many armies, in Europe and elsewhere, for their high level of protection and their firepower.

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3 Comments

  1. Instead of the Caesar 105mm, I would see a light fighter, equivalent and successor to the Gripen. And why not with the Swedes. The Russians will return to this market with the Su-75. Not to mention a possible combat version of the American T-7.
    Concerning modularity, on paper it is beautiful, but the failure of the LCS and the oldest Danish Stanflex program must encourage the greatest caution.

    • the failure of the mission module dates back to 2015. Since then, technology has evolved considerably, largely thanks to AI, which is crucial for mission modules, and especially for interfaces.
      Concerning a mono fighter, yes, it could very well have had its place in this list. But as I spoke about it recently, and on several occasions, I wanted to emphasize other subjects.

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