The French fleet has the smallest number of ships since the middle of the last century, it will continue to decline, the republic's navy warned. The chief of staff considered that the army was weakened due to a long participation only in asymmetric conflicts type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/1010xH/media/img/7/79/756604368159797.webp 1010w" type="image/webp" media="(max-width: 640px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 640px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)" >
The French armed forces have an insufficient number of long-range artillery pieces and ammunition in case of participation in a “high-intensity conflict”, and the republic's navy is also weakened. This was stated in July by participants in closed parliamentary hearings with the participation of representatives of the General Staff of the French Armed Forces, the minutes of the meetings were published by the French National Assembly.
“20 years of asymmetric conflicts and selective participation [in them] led to compromises that reduced certain possibilities»,— said Chief of Staff General Thierry Burcart.
At the same time, for 32 years (since 1990), the French navy has halved, said, in turn, the head of the headquarters of the French Navy, Admiral Pierre Vandieu. He continued: the maritime space is again becoming a battlefield, China, Great Britain and Australia are making efforts to rearm the fleet, but France has the seventh largest naval tonnage in the world.
“The navy will continue to shrink over the next two years. Since 1945, the navy has never been smaller than it is today, — Vandieu stressed.
Increase the purchase of drones, strengthen air defense and artillery, called on the Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces, General Pierre Schill. He said that the artillery potential of the French army would soon increase to 76, and then to 106 guns. “What we're seeing in Ukraine makes me think we need to go even further,” — he added.
At the same time, French Defense Minister Sebastian Lecornu called “incredible” new developments of the military-industrial complex of the country, indicating that many states envy them. He assured: “This is not only about such well-known companies as Dassault or Naval Group.”
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French President Emmanuel Macron warned in March that a conflict of “high intensity” could break out in Europe, in connection with which the financing of the armed forces should be increased. He promised that by 2025 annual defense spending will rise to €50 billion a year (France's defense budget for 2022 was €40 billion). The President explained that France must “increase flexibility and adaptability in the face of new types of threats.” At the same time, France does not want new conflicts, Macron emphasized.
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