France should prepare for a high-intensity war, said Thierry Burkhard, Chief of the General Staff of the French Armed Forces.
“The French Army has realized that the world is not standing still and it is necessary to prepare for high-intensity warfare. Now, if suddenly it is necessary to engage in combat in the coming hours, for example, this night, the French Armed Forces are ready to do so”, he said on France Inter radio station (quoted by TASS).
The day before, the French parliament passed a law on military planning until 2030. It envisages the allocation of 413 billion euros for military spending. Of these, 16 billion euros should go to replenish the stockpile of ammunition, 5 billion euros for the purchase of drones and another 5 billion euros for the work of intelligence. Part of the funds will also go to modernize the army, in particular, 10 billion euros for innovation, 6 billion euros for the development of the military-space forces, 4 billion euros for strengthening cyber security and information technology.
The number of personnel of the French army should be brought up to 275 thousand people (excluding reservists) over the next seven years. The number of reservists is also planned to increase, Burkhard said. “The reserve is extremely important. Today we have about 40,000 reservists. The goals of the new law are to reach a level where we have one reservist for every two active military personnel by 2030-2035. This is a big task”, he added.
The law also provides for an extension of the Rafale fighter jet production program. From 2027, 42 fighter jets are to be produced over three years. The government also intends to increase production of Jaguar combat reconnaissance vehicles to 238 units and increase the number of Griffon armored personnel carriers to 1,437 units during that time.
In favor of the government bill were 313 senators, 17 voted against it. The initiative still has to be signed by President Emmanuel Macron.
Germany is also planning to increase its defense budget for the coming year, Bloomberg reported in early July. The government intends to increase annual spending on the armed forces to 2% of GDP to meet NATO standards.
According to the agency, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius will receive €51.8 billion ($56.4 billion) in the regular budget, which is €1.7 billion more than this year. Another €19.2 billion will come from a special fund for the Bundeswehr created after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This brings the total military investment to €71 billion.