News

The new-style Armed Forces

A new Defence
Deterrence, from one era to another
Prevention, a new priority
The projection of power
Protection, towards a new concept
The style of Armed Forces in the year 2015
Programming resources

A new Defence

The Defence policy defined by the Government takes into account the threats we must face and the support that the Armed Forces are to contribute to our general policy.

> In so far as threats are concerned, our concept is affected by the disappearance of hostile forces permanently installed close to our frontiers and likely to menace the very survival of the Nation.

> As far as our policy is concerned, priority has been given to the role played by France in the upkeep of

international peace and security, this policy being enforced in a resolutely European perspective. This choice will also be essential for defining our means.

Three hypotheses are particularly good illustrations of the future conditions of action for

our forces :

> Action within the framework of NATO or the WEU, through our alliances, engendered for example by the potential instability in Southern Europe or in the Mediterranean.

> Contribution towards international security operations, in handling crises or maintaining peace, mandated by the United Nations or a European body, where our interests are at stake and within a multinational framework.

> Enforcement of our Defence agreements, in particular for the benefit of our African partners, mainly within a national framework, which may be extended to Europe in the future.

The type of threats and the hypothetical use of our forces determine both the mainspring and the respective significance of our four major strategic functions : deterrence, prevention, projection, protection.

> Nuclear deterrence remains the fundamental aspect of our strategy. It is a guarantee against any threat to our vital interests, whatever the origin or form may be, in a world where vigilance is still imperative. However, it is essential for us to rethink our nuclear position during the period of respite that the present strategic situation offers. Furthermore, our deterrence capacity, which already contributes to the overall Atlantic Alliance deterrence capacity, is to become much more European. Finally, we are fully aware of our responsibilities as a permanent member of the Security Council and as a signatory of the NPT.

> Prevention becomes a priority. First and foremost, this is a political move in which military means, in particular intelligence and prepositioned forces, play a central role in avoiding the return or the appearance of potentially conflictive dangers, risks or situations. An efficient prevention strategy is a condition upon which our security depends.

> Projection of power becomes, therefore, the priority mission for our forces. The front line of our Defence and of our Security is henceforth at a distance from our national territory. Furthermore, our international policy often sends our Armed Forces to faraway regions. Projection is therefore a priority objective for our classic forces. We must be capable of rapidly projecting abroad, particularly in Europe, in optimum security conditions, operational, coherent and modern Armed Forces, capable of immediately handling highly complex situations.

Such undertakings are impeded by conscription and entail reorganizing the Armed Forces according to other principles.

> Domestic protection and security are to be revised. The type of threats encountered at home (terrorism, drugs, etc.) is very different at present from those envisaged when hostile forces were present close to our borders, particularly during the Cold War period. The notion of domestic security is of greater importance than that of Defence.

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Deterrence, from one era to another

"We must make the most of the respite offered by the present strategic situation in order to rethink our nuclear stand".

Jacques CHIRAC, 23rd February 1995

The final campaign of nuclear tests, which is now complete, will enable us to ensure the reliability and the credibility of our means of deterrence, our capacity to renew the latter without further tests and the transition to simulation.

The change in threats enables us to reduce our nuclear stand. However we shall maintain a credible force of deterrence, adapted to the adequacy threshold defined by the President of the Republic of France and based, in the future, on two complementary, modernised weapons, capable of jointly meeting all political and military situations requiring the use of deterrence :

> a submarine-carried ballistic weapon, characterised by its low vulnerability and its power ; the strategic oceanic force will be based on four nuclear-powered ballistic-missile armed submarines (SNLE), enabling if required, the permanent maintenance of 2 SNLE at sea ; over the next fifteen years, the MS I missile will progressively replace the present M45 missile.

> an airborne weapon, built around aerobic missiles which will confer the versatility and diversification of penetration methods indispensable to our force of deterrence in the XXIst century ; it is for this reason that the aircraft / missile group will be modernised, the Rafale aircraft disposing of a new mid-range air-surface missile, called the improved ASMP.

The Plateau d'Albion surface weapon system is to be rapidly withdrawn from service.

The final withdrawal of the HADES surface to surface missile system, which is no longer a necessity and which is a matter of concern for certain neighbouring countries and allies, has been decided upon following a discussion with Chancellor Kohl.

The closure of the Pacific Test Centre is now possible with the completion of our tests and our adhesion to the South Pacific Denuclearisation Treaty. These measures are linked to the conclusion of the treaty concerning the total prohibition of nuclear testing (CTBT), to which France is actively contributing.

The atomic plants in Pierrelatte and Marcoule producing fissile materials are to be closed, due to the reduction in requirements, the level of stocks and our ability to recycle dismantled weapon materials.

"This ambitious programme aimed at adapting and modernising our deterrent is the proof of France's determination to continue to ensure our ultimate security in all circumstances. France's nuclear strategy is both deterrent and defensive. Any assailant that may want to affect our vital interests is to remain certain of our ability and our determination to protect them".

Jacques CHIRAC, 23rd February 1996

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Prevention, a new priority

The considerable forces installed close to our borders which were a permanent and immediate threat to the very survival of the Nation have disappeared.

They have been replaced by widespread insecurity and multiple dangers both in Europe and throughout the world. The proliferation of mass destruction weapons, in particular, is a major concern for our security.

It is for this reason that prevention is a priority.

Prevention is aimed at avoiding the return or emergence of threats to our interests and our security, the outbreak of conflicts, or even the development of situations, which may in the long run give rise to the reappearance of major threats.

There are two main means of prevention : intelligence and the prepositioning of forces.

> Intelligence

This means foreseeing, understanding and apprehending continuously more complex situations in order to anticipate the appearance of dangers and to take the necessary political or military steps.

In this context, human intelligence (Military Intelligence Headquarters (DRM), Foreign Security General Headquarters (DGSE)) along with spatial intelligence are to be promoted. Plans for the modernisation and the reinforcement of DRM and DGSE are provided for in the military programming bill.

Consequently, new spatial programmes will be jointly developed with our European allies:

- HELIOS II in continuation of the HELIOS I programme (Italy, Spain and Germany)

- HORUS radar satellite, with Germany and perhaps other European countries.

> Prepositioned forces

The propositioning of suitable means both on land and at sea is to be maintained in or nearby sensitive zones.

These means facilitate a local analysis of the situation, the treatment of low-level crises and the accommodation of reinforcements where required. Such amenities contribute to the settlement of potential crises in the best conditions,

Rationalization of our military apparatus is under examination in order to reach the best possible organisation of the strong points indispensable for carrying through our engagements.

The prepositioned apparatus calls on all three Armed Forces : combined battalions belonging to professionalised regiments, cruisers, combat and transport aircraft, etc.

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Projection of power

"Projection is the priority for classic forces".

Jacques CHIRAC, 23rd February 1996

The engagement of our forces will mainly take place abroad and far from our national territory ; there are two reasons for this :

- for the first time in French history, there is no longer any direct military threat on our frontiers,

- our security and our defence are to take place on foreign stages, either in Europe or throughout the world, where our international responsibilities require our presence.

In which case :

> Neither the place, the type, nor the moment of our action can be foreseen :

- our action may be situated either within a national, a European, a NATO, or a United Nations framework with a variety of partners,

- our forces must be immediately available,

- anticipation and immediate control of complex situations must be possible,

- action will require the projection of sophisticated armaments and equipment upon which our superiority will depend.

> This imperative entails the deployment of versatile forces capable of giving rise to combined groups adapted to the ever-changing type of operation to be carried out.

As far as projection is concerned :

- The Army will be deployed around:

4 Forces each comprising about 15 000 men :

1 Tank Force

1 Mechanised Force

1 Rapid Intervention Tank Force

1 Storming Infantry Force

The main equipment used by these forces will either be very recent or still under development, such as the Leclerc tank, the future armoured infantry combat vehicle (VBCI), the Tigre helicopter, the new anti-tank missiles (the latter three weapon systems being jointly developed with Germany), the Horizon helicopter-borne radar, the multiple rocket launcher, etc.

- The Navy will dispose of a naval air group and an amphibian force deployable on demand around the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier equipped with the Rafale aircraft, with landing-craft barges (TCD) and with airborne radars (Hawkeye). Its escort will comprise the new, European developed anti-aircraft frigates (Horizon) and antisubmarine frigates.

Furthermore, the Navy will also be able to deploy the new nuclear assault submarines which can be projected several thousand kilometres away.

- The Air Force will be capable of projecting about one hundred fighter, air defence, reconnaissance or attack electronic war aircraft. The multi-purpose Rafale aircraft should progressively be the main element of this force ; it will be equipped with modem air to air missiles (MICA) and cruiser missiles of the Apache type. Airspace control will be ensured by the mobile elements of the future air operation command and conduct system (SCCOA) and by airborne detection systems. In-flight refuelling will be a decisive factor in terms of projection.

Transport capacity will be maintained at the present level in spite of overall reductions in the size of the Armed Forces.

> Projection also implies the deployment of projectable combined forces command and control systems (PCIAT) and modem satellite signal communication systems (SYRACUSE II), which are inter-operable with those of our allies, enabling permanent, independent assessment of our national situation along with our contribution to the command of the multinational forces within which we may be engaged.

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Protection, towards a new concept

The Armed Forces carry out permanent missions on the grounds of national protection and security :

> surveillance and control of air and sea approaches,

> support of public authorities,

> intervention in the event of a serious crisis at the request of the civil authorities.

At home threats of a military nature have been replaced by violent threats on public security : terrorism, drugs, all types of traffic, which are now very much to the fore.

These threats are not of a military nature, so the notion of security is greater than that of defence.

The surveillance of sea approaches and air security operations remain indispensable and continue to be carried out by traditional methods.

As far as land security is concerned, it is primarily down to the Gendarmerie Nationale

(National Military Police Force) to carry out security missions jointly with the other security forces.

The Air Force will maintain an airspace detection and control network which is to be modernized (SCCOA system).

When the contribution of the Armed Forces is deemed necessary, each zone of defence will benefit, in the first instance, from the means supplied by the Armed Forces stationed in that zone. The increased mobility of land forces will improve their ability, where required, of transferring means between zones.

Furthermore, the Armed Forces will continue to assist populations, particularly in the event of natural catastrophes.

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The Style of Armed Forces in the year 2015

The strategic options behind the main characteristics of the new-style Armed Forces favour prevention and projection of forces, deterrence being maintained at a level of adequacy.

Prevention implies the development of intelligence, especially spatial intelligence and the prepositioning of forces. The stress placed on projection leads to the conception of compact, mobile, versatile Armed Forces, available at short notice and disposing of modern equipment enabling tactical superiority from the outset.

Availability and versatility require professionalisation, a further reduction in the duration of military service being no longer compatible with the high degree of technicality and training required for such forces. The intention not to increase the operational budget allocated to the Armed Forces implies a significant reduction in staff.

The Army is to undergo the greatest changes. With a staff of 170 000 men (136 000 military and 34 000 civil staff), it will adopt a new organisational structure in order to reduce the number of headquarters and support bodies and to concentrate on operational tasks. Henceforth, the Army is to be deployed around a Tank Force, a Mechanised Force, a Rapid Intervention Tank Force and a Storming Infantry Force.

With a balanced distribution of heavy tanks (Leclerc) and light tanks supported by Tigre helicopters, along with an increase in the range and precision of long-range weapons, the Army's means of combat will be reinforced with field surveillance and data processing equipment.

The Navy will continue to be a largely deterrent force with the implementation of nuclear-powered ballistic-missile-armed submarines (SNLE) and associated equipment. It will continue its prevention tasks, through presence and surveillance missions carried out by its surface vessels and its sea patrol aircraft. It will maintain its power projection capacities through a naval air group, an amphibian group and nuclear assault submarines (SNA). It will have a staff of 56 500 men (45 500 military and 11 000 civil staff).The Charles de GAULLE aircraft carrier is to be equipped with "Hawkeye" advanced warning and Rafale aircraft.

The Air Force will undergo a change in the size of its combat force which will eventually comprise 300 modern, versatile aircraft of the Rafale type capable of implementing the most innovative weapon systems, including cruising missiles. Military air transport will be modernised as from the year 2003 in order to at least maintain present performances and in-flight refuelling capacities are to be improved. The Air Force will count 70 000 men (63 000 military and 7 000 civil staff).

All these measures will lead to the closure or the reduction of units or military bases all over the national territory and abroad, the overall number of staff in the Armed Forces being reduced by about 30%.

The Gendarmerie Nationale (National Military Police Force), on the contrary, will undergo an increase in staff numbers in order to take into account its new role in the protection and security of the national territory.

A special effort will be made to ensure the inter-operability of our forces, by favouring the complementarity of the Armed Forces. Furthermore, the capacities of our military forces to act with those of our allies, along with our means of combined command and communication projectable to zones outside our national territory are to be the object of reinforced attention. As European Forces are to cooperate more frequently, they are also to economise means by developing combined methods of discussion and co-ordination.

Thus, the French Armed Forces are to undergo considerable reorganisation. A period of six years will be required in order to complete the professionalisation of the Armed Forces, whilst preserving, in the best possible manner, the interests of the men and women within Defence and maintaining the operational capacities of the military tool.

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The Project of Armed Forces in the Year 2015

Situation in 1995On the 2015 Horizon
ARMY239100 military + 32400 civil staff; Total: 271500 136000 military + 34000 civil staff; Total: 170000
9 divisions, 129 regiments
927 heavy tanks
350 light tanks
340 helicopters
About 85 regiments divided into 4 forces
420 heavy tanks
350 light tanks
About 180 helicopters
NAVY63800 military + 6600 civil staff; Total: 70400 45500 military + civil staff; Total: 56500
101 vessels (excluding the SLNE) with:
- 2 Aircraft carriers and air group - 6 SNA, 7 diesel submarines and 15 first-rate frigates
Tonnage: 314000 tons
33 sea patrol aircraft
81 vessels (excluding the SLNE): with
- 1 or 2 aircraft carriers and air group including 3Hawkeyes
- 6 SNA and 12 first-rate frigates
Tonnage: 234000 tons
22 sea patrol aircraft
AIR FORCE89200 military + 4900civil staff; Total: 94100 63000 military + 7000 civil staff; Total: 70000
405 combat aircraft
86 transport aircraft
11 C135 refuelling aircraft
101 helicopters
300 modern Rafale type aircraft
52 modern transport aircraft
16 refuelling aircraft
84 helicopters
NATIONAL MILITARY POLICE 92230 military + 1220 civil staff; Total: 93450 95600 military + 2300 civil staff; Total: 97900
JOINT SERVICES 18130 military + 29 780 civil staff; Total: 47910 12600 military + 27000 civil staff; Total: 39500
STAFF excl.extra budget count 502460 military + 74900 civil staff; Total: 577360 352700 military + 81300 civil staff; Total: 434000

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Programming resources

The new-style Armed Forces are based on a level of resources equal to 185 thousand million FRF per year, of which about 99 thousand million FRF are to be devoted to operational costs and a little over 86 thousand million FRF to equipment costs. These figures correspond to constant 1995 French Francs.

1. The reduction in the Armed Forces equipment expenditure is

to be an essential contribution to controlling public deficit

With a little over 86 thousand million FRF per year, the Armed Forces equipment expenditure over the 1997 - 2002 period will constitute a significant reduction compared to the expenditure anticipated in the military programming bill dated 23rd June 1994.

The implementation of the military programming bill would have entailed to devoting 624 thousand million 1995 FRF over the 1995 - 2000 period, that is to say an annual average expenditure of 104 thousand million FRF per year on military equipment.

A reduction of about 18% in equipment expenditure will be made.

2. This Defence effort will enable France to maintain its rank among Western

powers.

The operational expenditure of the new-style Armed Forces will, with a budget of about 99 thousand million FRF per year, be of about the same amount as at present. The extra costs linked to professionalisation will be compensated by the reduction in size of the Armed Forces.

The essential savings effort will be supported by equipment expenditure, however the reduced Armed Forces will dispose of equipment which is coherent with their missions.

In general, with an expenditure of 184 thousand million FRF per year plus pensions, the overall resources allocated to the Ministry of Defence will represent a Defence effort amounting to about 3, 1 % of the 1995 GDP.

This effort is to be compared with that made by our main Western partners. It is identical to that of Great Britain in 1995. The German Federal Republic devoted 1,7% of its GDP to military expenditure in the same year and the United States 4%.