20th March 2017

Re-birth of French munitions sector


“A few months ago I would hardly have dared hope for this moment.” With these words, spoken on 17 March in Pont-de-Buis-Lès-Quimerch (Brittany), French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian declared the renaissance in France of a small caliber war munitions (5.56mm, 7.62mm and 9 mm) industry. “It is the rebirth of a sector that was […]

Fighting face-to-face


“A dog of war / diplomat / experienced technician / built like an athlete / well-bred and polite in all circumstances.” This description of today’s French infantryman was given on 16 March by Lt-General Eric Margail, army inspector, in a speech at the symposium organized in Paris by the Draguignan Infantry College. He regretted, however, […]

The Griffon has run


The prototype Griffon vehicle had its first run this week, FOB learned at the symposium organised in Paris yesterday by the Draguignan Infantry College. It will be evaluated by the French DGA procurement agency and the STAT, the army’s technical section, between April and October before they decide on a final production design.  The first example […]

Excellent 2016 for MBDA


“2016 was an excellent year.” So began Antoine Bouvier’s remarks to the media as he unveiled MBDA’s results for 2016: a turnover of €3bn which he expects to be able to boost to €4bn by 2020. The European missile manufacturer’s CEO said his group’s aim was to capture 25% of the global market, thereby keeping […]

Denmark chooses CAESAR


2017 has begun well for Nexter Systems which has just signed a second export contract for its CAESAR 155mm self-propelled cannon in the space of a month. Following on the heels of an Indonesian order for 18 additional systems, Denmark will procure 15 CAESARs to replace the 32 M109A3 Paladins in service since 1965. “It […]

RAMBO and the U.S. Army


What soldier has never dreamed of having RAMBO as a combat companion? This could soon be a reality thanks to U.S. Army researchers, whose 40mm RAMBO grenade launcher, made using additive manufacturing (commonly known as 3D printing), has just fired the first ammunition produced the same way. This is a world first, which confirms the relevance of […]

Berlin slips from NATO spending target


With a 2017 budget up 7.3% to €37bn, €10bn for investment by 2020 and an army of 200,000 by 2024, the new trajectory announced in 2016 for Germany’s armed forces was enough – in theory – to arouse the envy of neighbouring armies. But new elements presented in a German 2018 Federal Budget draft should calm […]

Lockheed flying to MBDA’s rescue?


Will MBDA play the Lockheed Martin card? The European missile group is reported to be forming a new joint venture with the U.S. company in order to reassure the German government that it can complete a €4bn contract for the delivery of the MEADS air defence system, according to Reuters. The two groups behind the design of […]

The DGA is France’s main investor


Laurent Collet-Billon, the director of France’s DGA procurement agency, never forgets that he was once a rugby player and frequently refers to the game when explaining or commenting the DGA’s activities. His press conference earlier this week was no exception when, in order to explain that the DGA “is the leading investor in the nation” […]

New military tool for EU


On 6 March the European Council approved the establishment of a Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC). In charge of the planning and execution of non-combatant military missions within the European Union (EU) Military Staff, this new structure is intended to improve the “EU’s capacity to react in a faster, more effective and more seamless […]