In the midst of a health crisis, the armies will more than ever play their role as a major economic player in France.
As the leading investor, recruiter and user of State land, the defense will actively participate in the revival of the French economy, strongly shaken by the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Especially since the effort in favor of the rise in power of the armies is maintained.
At 39.2 billion euros, the defense budget reached a record level and increased by 4.5% compared to the credits mobilized in 2020 and 2019 (37.4 billion euros).
Far from paying the price of the pandemic, the armies see the priority nature of their missions reaffirmed.
This budget responds, we explain to the Hôtel de Brienne, to the commitments made by Emmanuel Macron in 2017,
"to begin and then to consolidate the rise in power of the armies".
Armies that are over-solicited, beyond their operational contract, in external theaters of operations (Opex) in the Sahelo-Sahelian Strip and in the Levant but also on national territory (Operation Sentinel), as part of the fight against terrorism.
27,000 young people recruited
By increasing the budget, the aim is to give the armies the means to protect France and the French in the face of a multifaceted threat in an unstable world.
But also to irrigate the territories and supply the industrial and technological defense base.
In 2021, the armed forces will recruit nearly 27,000 young people, in intelligence, cybersecurity and within the forces.
They will contribute to the aeronautical support plan, via planned but advanced orders.
As such, three Airbus A330s transformed into refueling MRTTs, 8 Caracal helicopters as well as drone systems for the Navy will, for example, be ordered from manufacturers.
Next year, 22 billion euros will be spent to take delivery of new equipment, services and infrastructure: 157 Griffon and 20 Jaguar armored vehicles as part of the Scorpion army modernization and digitization program, 3 new MRTT refuellers, a new Alsace multi-mission frigate (FREMM), the first to be dedicated to anti-aircraft warfare, 2 refurbished Atlantique 2 reconnaissance planes, a Ceres listening satellite or even a set of weapons (Exocet, Astair and torpedoes) etc.
But also equipment which is part of the daily life of the soldier: 12,000 HK 416F assault rifles (bringing the fleet to 50,000 copies) and 126,000 fireproof N3 fatigues.
Studies for the new generation aircraft carrier
At the same time,
"we obtained 44.7 billion euros of authorization to commit orders"
, specifies the cabinet of Florence Parly, the Minister of the Armed Forces.
As such, the first 30 light joint helicopters (HIL) will be ordered, as well as 120 light armored vehicles, a second Defense and Intervention Frigate (FDI).
As for new orders for Rafale fighter jets in late 2020 or early 2021, nothing has yet been decided.
Everything is on the table.
Everything is possible
”, underlines the Ministry of the Armed Forces.
The latter specifies that a budget line is indeed devoted to combat aircraft but that it "
concerns, at this stage, the financing of changes to the Rafale standard rather than new contracts
The Ministry of the Armed Forces recalls that the Military Programming Law (LPM) 2019-2025 provides for a review clause in mid-2021.
As part of the preparation for the future, it is planned to finance the development work of aircraft demonstrators (Scaf) and land combat equipment (MGCS) of the future, as well as studies for the 3rd generation SSBN. (the missile launcher submarine, carrier of nuclear weapons), as well as upstream studies for the new generation aircraft carrier.
In total, the effort in favor of supporting innovation will reach 920 million euros, following the trajectory set out in the framework of the 2019-2025 LPM which provides for the billion by 2022.
A machine to boost the economy
All in all, the defense,
"this machine to boost the French economy",
to use the expression of the Hôtel de Brienne, will run at full speed.
It will support the 200,000 jobs of French defense companies.
Likewise, the balances paid to the military will participate in maintaining economic activity in the territories where defense bases are installed.
Some 31% of the 2021 budget will be devoted to the payment of military salaries and bonuses.
As part of the efforts to improve the lives of soldiers and their families, a new geographic mobility allowance will be effective next summer.
In addition, 160 million euros will be devoted to family housing as part of the family plan and 237 million euros to
"improve accommodation conditions, mainly in the barracks"
, underlines the hotel de Brienne, citing the rehabilitation of 1,400 beds and delivery of 850 new beds!
Which says a lot about the state of equipment at certain military sites ...
In order to use
each euro of its budget
, the Ministry of the Armed Forces intends to continue its reform effort, in particular by simplifying its central administration.
"It is a question of reducing the administrative and hierarchical layers, of working more in project studies and more in silos, while relocating certain activities as close as possible to the forces in the region"
, explains one to the office of the Minister.