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 […]

Sweden reintroduces military conscription


There has been much talk in France since the terrorist attacks of bringing back the military conscription that ended in November 2001. It is even in the Socialist Party’s manifesto for the presidential election. But whilst in France it is still just talk, in Sweden they’ve gone ahead and done it. Six days ago the […]

New upgrade for UAE Leclercs


It was hard to ignore the Leclerc tank, presented both at the Nexter stand and performing in the United Arab Emirate’s armed forces’ dynamic demonstration at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi last month. Against the background of this high visibility, the French systems integrator is proposing a new “multiple-choice offer to meet a requirement from […]

Airbus H160 for French army


By Nathan Gain and Christina Mackenzie Two years to the day after being presented at HAI Heli-Expo, the Airbus H160 helicopter has been selected by France’s ministry of defence as the “base of the future Joint Light Helicopter (HIL – hélicoptère interarmées léger),” said Jean-Yves Le Drian on 3 March at the Airbus Helicopter site in […]

Re-thinking the French soldier’s social services


Pauperisation, problems finding a civilian job, an explosive rise in the number of divorces… the intensity of recent operations is now putting military personnel under new pressures and these require a different sort of social accompaniment. “An army in times of peace does not require the same social support as a fighting army,” remarks Geneviève […]

Thales’s InnovDays, part 2


As promised yesterday we will continue our tour of the demonstrations at Thales’s Innov’Days, organised in Paris today, yesterday and on Wednesday. The Systrolab was possibly the noisiest demonstration amongst the 67. Designed to accelerate developments proposed by micro, small and medium enterprises, the vibrating, very noisy cube containing three seats set at each corner of […]

Thales’s InnovDays 2017, part 1


Thales, as you probably know, is a high-tech group not only involved in defence, but also in security, space, aerospace and ground transportation. Much of the technology developed by the 25,000 researchers employed worldwide (30% of the total staff) is common to all five sectors so Thales has occasionally organised “techno days”, now baptised InnovDays, […]