Procurement: November 13, 2000


France plans to keep all of its major arms purchase programs while only increasing defense spending by 0.05% next year. (Annual inflation in France is now running 1.5%, so this represents a defacto cut in defense spending.) These programs including the A400m military airlifter (50 total), the Horizon frigate (at least a half-dozen), a fourth strategic missile submarine, the Helios-2 spy satellite (to launch in 2004), the Tiger attack helicopter, the NH90 heavy-lift helicopter, and the Rafale fighter (48 on order). This will be difficult given the on-going expense of keeping troops in the Balkans.--Stephen V Cole


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