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Old 06-06-2008, 11:00 AM
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Default French army falling apart

By Henry Samuel in Paris
Last Updated: 5:42PM BST 06/06/2008

Most of France's tanks, helicopters and jet fighters are unusable and its defence apparatus is on the verge of "falling apart", it has emerged.

France's military has been given a bleak prognosis
According to confidential defence documents leaked to the French press, less than half of France's Leclerc tanks – 142 out of 346 – are operational and even these regularly break down.
Less than half of its Puma helicopters, 37 per cent of its Lynx choppers and 33 per cent of its Super Frelon models – built 40 years ago – are in a fit state to fly, according to documents seen by Le Parisien newspaper.
Two thirds of France's Mirage F1 reconnaissance jets are unusable at present. According to army officials, the precarious state of France's defence equipment almost led to catastrophe in April, when French special forces rescued the passengers and crew of a luxury yacht held by pirates off the Somali coast.
Although ultimately a success, the rescue operation nearly foundered at an early stage, when two of the frigates carrying troops suffered engine failure, and a launch laden with special forces' equipment sunk under its weight.
Later, an Atlantic 2 jet tracking the pirates above Somali territory suffered engine failure and had to make an emergency landing in Yemen.
"External operations, in the Ivory Coast and Lebanon are a fig leaf: we are able to keep up the pretence but in ten years our defence apparatus will fall apart," one high-ranking official said.
The disclosure comes just ten days before President Nicolas Sarkozy announces a major reform of the armed forces, with a defence white paper outlining France's military priorities for the next 15 years.
He is expected to argue that the situation can only improve by reducing the number of France's operational troops from 50,000 to 30,000, and its fighter aircraft, as well as closing military bases.
He will also use the occasion to push for greater military integration in Europe, an issue that France will highlight when it takes over the EU's six-month rotating presidency in July.
French proposals circulating in Brussels show that France wants a new EU military headquarters based in the Belgian capital and run by Europe's new foreign policy chief. It is also calling for a bigger rapid reaction force and for countries to spend more on defence.
France has played down its European defence ambitions for fear of boosting the No vote in Ireland's referendum on the Lisbon treaty on June 12.
In parallel to beefing up the EU's defence capability, Mr Sarkozy is keen on France becoming a full member of Nato's integrated military command structure, which Charles de Gaulle left in 1966. But he is unlikely to make a decision on this until next year.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:32 PM
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Thats maybe why France are so reluctant to comitt troops to international engadements,they might be playing the deception card,the 1st rule of war is to make the enemy think you are stronger then you really are.if they buy it then thats the 1st requirement met
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Old 06-06-2008, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas View Post
By Henry Samuel in Paris
Last Updated: 5:42PM BST 06/06/2008

Most of France's tanks, helicopters and jet fighters are unusable and its defence apparatus is on the verge of "falling apart", it has emerged.

France's military has been given a bleak prognosis
According to confidential defence documents leaked to the French press, less than half of France's Leclerc tanks – 142 out of 346 – are operational and even these regularly break down.
Less than half of its Puma helicopters, 37 per cent of its Lynx choppers and 33 per cent of its Super Frelon models – built 40 years ago – are in a fit state to fly, according to documents seen by Le Parisien newspaper.
Two thirds of France's Mirage F1 reconnaissance jets are unusable at present. According to army officials, the precarious state of France's defence equipment almost led to catastrophe in April, when French special forces rescued the passengers and crew of a luxury yacht held by pirates off the Somali coast.
Although ultimately a success, the rescue operation nearly foundered at an early stage, when two of the frigates carrying troops suffered engine failure, and a launch laden with special forces' equipment sunk under its weight.
Later, an Atlantic 2 jet tracking the pirates above Somali territory suffered engine failure and had to make an emergency landing in Yemen.
"External operations, in the Ivory Coast and Lebanon are a fig leaf: we are able to keep up the pretence but in ten years our defence apparatus will fall apart," one high-ranking official said.
The disclosure comes just ten days before President Nicolas Sarkozy announces a major reform of the armed forces, with a defence white paper outlining France's military priorities for the next 15 years.
He is expected to argue that the situation can only improve by reducing the number of France's operational troops from 50,000 to 30,000, and its fighter aircraft, as well as closing military bases.
He will also use the occasion to push for greater military integration in Europe, an issue that France will highlight when it takes over the EU's six-month rotating presidency in July.
French proposals circulating in Brussels show that France wants a new EU military headquarters based in the Belgian capital and run by Europe's new foreign policy chief. It is also calling for a bigger rapid reaction force and for countries to spend more on defence.
France has played down its European defence ambitions for fear of boosting the No vote in Ireland's referendum on the Lisbon treaty on June 12.
In parallel to beefing up the EU's defence capability, Mr Sarkozy is keen on France becoming a full member of Nato's integrated military command structure, which Charles de Gaulle left in 1966. But he is unlikely to make a decision on this until next year.

French Army has some good units.. but it seems the purse strings are as tight as the Irish ones for its Military... French ambitions in Ireland are well known and whilst a yes vote is on the cards here this time, the French are being watched for signs of them wanting to become the fat cat in Europe and sitting on the small nations.. if even a sniff of that heads west.. then Ireland will vote no...
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Old 06-07-2008, 06:01 AM
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All armies have their problems....look at reports of poor quality British kit...and we fight wars on a shoe string sometimes...the french like to think its the key player in Europe....but as exo says the"Smaller nations" wont buy it...... europe is a union
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Old 06-07-2008, 06:07 PM
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All armies have their problems....look at reports of poor quality British kit...and we fight wars on a shoe string sometimes...the french like to think its the key player in Europe....but as exo says the"Smaller nations" wont buy it...... europe is a union

Right on brotherman!!..... Saw a teeshirt this evening saying "If Portugals performance is anything to go on, say NO to Lisbon!"... lol... good one!!....
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:20 AM
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If our nuclear weapons are not falling apart then I can sleep in peace but are costly toys ~20% of the military budget :s
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:22 PM
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hmh. it is interesting news. the Leclerics run with [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%A4rtsil%C3%A4"]Wärtsilä[/URL] Hyperbar diesel engines.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:38 PM
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If our nuclear weapons are not falling apart then I can sleep in peace but are costly toys ~20% of the military budget :s
would it be possible for France to shut the f-ck up in future seeing as your more interested in having a retirement party. You see we're actually sick of footing your bill and would prefer you to just shhhush! when it comes to important world matters such as Defeating the Taliban, where it would seem you are as much use as a wet fart in the vietnamese jungle
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:53 AM
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I am not agree with you we are present in Chad in Ivory Coast in Lebanon in Afghanistan and in another places french and british have different points of view of the world today we are too soft for you but tomorrow maybe the opposite, about Irak we had a true vision but who listened us ? today we could say **** you but we are present maybe not sufficiently for you and ? during terrorism attacks in the period of 1990 in france nobody were with us certainly not the UK that's life.
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:03 AM
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If our nuclear weapons are not falling apart then I can sleep in peace but are costly toys ~20% of the military budget :s
Too right Jim as long as you Nuclear weapons are ok....the rest of Europe can sleep in peace to
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