Skip to main content

France: defense budget increase between 2019 and 2025.

| 2018

In contrast to the trend observed for more than ten years, the French Ministry of Defense will see its budget reach 295 billion euros between 2019 and 2025. This budget effort with no such value in recent history will help stop the slow erosion of the French military capacity.

France defense budget increase between 2019 and 2025
VBCI canon (Picture source: Army Recognition)

In accordance with commitments made by NATO member countries, France aims to increase defense spending to 2% of GDP in 2025, according to the Military Program Law (MPL) presented on Thursday 8 February in the Council of Ministers. This is an increase of over 40%. "The previous military programming laws required efforts to armies. This time, an effort is made to the nation for the armies," argues the entourage of the defense minister, Florence Parly.

During his first visit to NATO Headquarters (Brussels) at the end of 2017, President Donald Trump heavily criticized the European partners because they are way behind the effort provided by the United States and this "standard" of 2%. In 2017, General de Villiers resigned from his position of CEMA (Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces) to express spectacularly his opposition to the cuts in the defense budget, too often a "variable of adjustment" in the state budget. However, France must respect the European rules on budget overruns, which will impose an interesting "creativity" because the French public debt is among the highest in the European Union.

In 2018, the defense budget amounts to 34.2 billion euros, or 1.82% of GDP. It will benefit from an increase of 1.7 billion per year until 2022, then 3 billion per year from 2023, so after the next presidential election. This budget will then reach 50 billion. This budget increase reflects the major concerns following the 2015 attacks and the international Islamist threat.

After some 60,000 job cuts between 2005 and 2015, Defense aims to create 6,000 civilian and military posts by 2025, half of which will be created in the first five years. The more difficult relations with Russia lead to reinforcing the numbers of cyberdefense (1,500 positions) and intelligence (1,500 positions).

Linked to the concern for attractiveness of the military function and efficiency in the field, the budget increase will be devoted primarily to the improvement of the soldier's daily life and the modernization of equipment at the end of life. This is an absolute necessity, given the number of operations in which the army is engaged, both outside and on the national territory.

Several types of equipment will benefit from an accelerated modernization. In addition to the modernization of the Leclerc main battle tank, it is a question of replacing the VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé), this 4x4 armoured troop carrier with more than forty years of service to its credit (hence the Scorpion programme, with VBMR Griffon and EBRC Jaguar vehicles). The many external operations in which they were involved have used them extensively. Additional tanker aircraft are also on the program. The Navy will not be forgotten: studies will be started on the replacement of the aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle" which should be withdrawn from service by 2040.

The 200,000 soldiers will very concretely see the benefit of this considerable budgetary effort: last-generation bullet-proof vests, flame retardant uniforms, night vision goggles, etc. The maintenance of the equipment and certain infrastructure, including family housing, will also benefit from the budget increase.

Copyright © 2019 - 2024 Army Recognition | Webdesign by Zzam