France unveiled Thursday a draft of its 2019-2025 military budget plan, setting €295 billion (U.S. $361 billion) on spending, which included better barracks, larger orders of Army armored vehicles, and studies on next-generation nuclear submarines and airborne nuclear missiles.
That spending plan compares to €190 billion in the present 2014-2018 budget law. The Armed Forces Ministry sees the budget law as a “renewal,” as the government seeks to “regenerate” the services. A first phase consists of €198 billion in the present five-year government term, with defense spending rising €1.7 billion each year to hit €44 billion in 2023. That compares to the 2018 budget of €34.2 billion.
The second phase for 2024 and 2025 assumes an annual €3 billion increase, with much depending on the macro-economic performance. A government review will be held in 2021 to decide what to commit in the following budgets. A general election will be held in 2023, so the next administration will decide how closely it follows the budget law. …
Other notable investments:
The Navy will receive the first four Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarines, last three Fremm multimission frigates and first two FTI intermediate frigates.
There will be studies on arming the air defense version of the Fremm with the Aster Block 1 NT missile.
The Air Force will receive six armed Reaper drones, the first European medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV, 28 Rafale fighter jets and 55 upgraded Mirage 2000D fighters.
Acquisition of the A330 MRTT tanker transport aircraft will be increased to 15 from 12, with the first 12 delivered by 2023 and the remaining three shipped by 2025.
An annual €1.8 billion will be spent on concept studies on future weapons, including fighter jet, heavy tank and replacement to the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.
The annual budget for feasibility studies will rise to €1 billion from €730 million.
France proposes big defense budget hike