A senator affirms that within the occasion of a high-intensity battle, the ammunition inventory of the French armies would solely final a couple of days. The Ministry of the Armed Forces explains to us why this example is unlikely.
The battle in Ukraine raises questions in all European nations about their means to defend themselves within the occasion of an assault. In France, the query of an under-dimensioning of the French armies is raised with, as a central level, ammunition from bullets to missiles. Within the occasion of a excessive depth battle, how lengthy would the inventory final?
For strategic causes, information on ammunition shares are confidential. However this danger is more and more raised by parliamentarians. March 15 on RFIChristian Cambon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Overseas Affairs and Defence, has made disturbing revelations.
In accordance with Senator LR, France lacks “thickness” when it comes to ammunition and subsequently couldn’t “help a long-term battle”. In accordance with him, the inventory would final at finest “two weeks”.
“I am not forcing the road, I even suppose that the knowledge I discussed continues to be optimistic in relation to actuality and I’m sadly pondering of specialised or conventional ammunition,” says Christian Cambon.
This downside is just not new. It was raised in February, by two deputies, Patricia Mirallès and Jean-Louis Thériot, in a report on the preparation of the French armies within the occasion of a high-intensity engagement submitted to the Fee for Nationwide Protection and the Armed Forces.
On this lengthy doc of about sixty pages, they spotlight an inadequate inventory, but in addition the expiry of the ammunition which represent these reserves.
“Ammunition expires, particularly pyrotechnics. Unused ammunition should subsequently be destroyed or renovated each ten years. And it takes a mean of three years to replenish shares,” say the deputies.
The Mirallès/Thériot report not solely evokes a inventory that will not make it doable to face a protracted battle, however in addition they level to industrial difficulties. The buying course of takes many months or perhaps a few years to go from order request to supply. In accordance with one supply, it could take a yr for small caliber ammunition and a minimum of two years for shells or missiles.
Questioned for this report, the director basic of Nexter confirms that the manufacturing of a shell “takes between two and three years” and recommends “having shares of ammunition, spare components whose provide time is lengthy (artillery weapons) and pre-contracting “.
Nonetheless, arms producers rely on manufacturing traces designed to work simply in time. To supply extra, new manufacturing traces should be created.
“In accordance with producers, the emergency opening of latest traces would take between 18 and 36 months for many supplies and tools and as much as 5 to 6 years for probably the most advanced. Taking sure measures now would save money and time,” the report mentioned.
Nuclear deterrence and coalition
In case of battle might France lose a warfare for lack of ammunition? The Ministry of the Armed Forces completely refutes this chance. For Hervé Grandjean, spokesman for the Ministry of the Armed Forces, “it’s incorrect to say that this downside is just not taken into consideration”.
“We’re at present studying issues like ‘there are three days of ammunition’, that doesn’t imply something”, replies Colonel Ianni, spokesman for the Chief of Employees of the French armies. “It will depend on what maneuvers you will mount and the way you will maneuver will decide how you will devour your ammunition. If we put all our planes in line to fireside on the similar time, we are going to devour all our ammo and we is not going to will not win”.
Colonel Ianni additionally remembers that “the French military is able to fulfilling the missions given to it”.
“But when France had been engaged towards a big power, reminiscent of China or Russia, we might be a part of a coalition (that of NATO, editor’s be aware). There could also be difficulties recognized, however From a navy standpoint if we’re instructed to go, we are going to go and arrange the maneuver relying on the logistics. That additionally goes for gasoline and the remainder”.
Hervé Grandjean, spokesperson for the Ministry of the Armed Forces confirmed that within the occasion of a excessive depth battle, France’s motion could be primarily based throughout the framework of a coalition, however not solely.
“France has a nuclear deterrent, it’s the strategy to keep away from high-intensity conflicts on nationwide territory”, signifies Hervé Grandjean, including that in 2021 the military programming law has been up to date.
“We’ve had an extra impact when it comes to ammunition to the tune of 110 million euros. It’s round 10,000 or extra 120 mm mortar shells, 100 mm or 76 mm shells for the Marine”. We’ve additionally relaunched an industrial sector of large-caliber ammunition following the difficulties encountered by this sector for export. We can’t give the small print of this categorised data”, replied to BFM Enterprise Hervé Grandjean.