“The army will be one of the most powerful and lightest”: the development strategy of the French ground forces

“The army will be one of the most powerful and lightest”: the development strategy of the French ground forces

French troops left CAR in 2015, Mali in 2022, Burkina Faso in 2023 and are due to leave Niger in 2024. The collapse of Africa's neocolonial empire is causing concern among local observers and military officials as they await the withdrawal of armies from across the continent. In particular, the question arises about the need to change the composition of the country's armed forces, which for many decades were focused on conducting expeditionary campaigns.

As noted in the Meta-defense publication, the French ground army today has 4 medium and light brigades, trained and specially equipped for work in Africa, and only two heavy brigades, more suitable for battles with a symmetrical enemy.

The armored fleet is 80% made up of vehicles weighing 24 tons or less, as priority is given to light forces such as marines, Legion, Alpine Chasseurs or paratroopers. 80% of the chiefs of staff and commanders of the ground forces since 2010 came from the light forces.

This specialization of ground forces was very useful when it came to intervening in Afghanistan, the Levant and the countries south of the Sahara. But now it is proving to be an obstacle to meeting NATO needs in Central Europe

- indicated in the publication.

At the same time, according to current plans for the modernization of troops, the trend of transforming the army into lightly armed forces will continue. Thus, by 2030, the armored vehicle fleet will be represented by the following equipment: 200 tanks Leclerc, more than 600 VBCI infantry fighting vehicles, almost 1900 VBMR Griffon armored personnel carriers, 300 EBRC Jaguar armored personnel carriers and more than 2000 Serval light armored vehicles.

The French army would be the most powerful in Europe, but also one of the lightest, with only 200 Leclerc tanks. However, as the AMX-10RC [wheeled tanks] sent to Ukraine showed firsthand, light armored vehicles, no matter how mobile they are, turn out to be much more vulnerable

- believe in the publication.

According to the author, in addition to the lack of proper protection, French armored vehicles also sometimes suffer from a lack of firepower. This applies in particular to the VBCI infantry fighting vehicle, whose main armament is a 25 mm cannon, which is good against medium armored vehicles, but unsuitable for use against MBTs, even if they are of an old design.

Even the French artillery was affected by the standard of lightness and mobility. In Ukraine, the CAESAR self-propelled gun turned out to be much more vulnerable than the German Pzh2000. Today, the entire Army is organized to favor light, mobile, and rapidly deployable forces.

- says the publication.

According to the author, this structure was completely focused on Africa, “France’s favorite theater of military operations and superiority in the last 30 years.” In accordance with this development strategy, the backbone of the army will be represented by 2030 tanks, a little over 200 guns and about 100 long-range systems by 10.

He believes the ground forces need to be rebuilt so they can regain their former role within the French conventional deterrence system. However, there is no indication that the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense of the country understand this.

This uncertainty is what is most damaging today to the French military, which fears that in a few years it will have the wrong tool to fight the next war.

- a conclusion is made in the publication.

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    1. +6
      29 October 2023 01: 08
      One of the most useless armies in the world)
      1. +2
        29 October 2023 01: 37
        That’s for sure... Since the time of Napoleon, no one has been defeated except frogs... It’s not for nothing that Keitel, when signing the act of surrender, looked towards the French with bewilderment and asked, “Did these guys defeat us too...???”
        1. 0
          29 October 2023 06: 09
          I remember the joke about a powerful but light hedgehog (or a rooster) who was kicked by a bear.
        2. -1
          29 October 2023 16: 50
          In fact, in WWI they fought very honorably and won (and there’s no point in mocking the defeat in the Franco-Prussian war, the Prussians would have crushed us then, they definitely had the strongest army on the continent). The same cannot be said about Russia. This myth about the “eternally cowardly French” is quite old and stupid.
    2. +2
      29 October 2023 01: 29
      The frogmen are no longer warriors. Napoleon turned over in his grave a hundred times in shame.
      1. -3
        29 October 2023 03: 13
        Quote: Roust
        The frogmen are no longer warriors. Napoleon turned over in his grave a hundred times in shame.

        Of the 108 Soviet tanks knocked out in Berlin, they destroyed 62. The 30 last surviving fighters who defended the Reich Chancellery, the French from Charlemagne. They also defended the Reichstag to the last...
        Do not underestimate the enemy, especially on a national basis. It kind of smells brown...
        1. +4
          29 October 2023 04: 47
          The composition of the division was very diverse, consisting of many peoples, there were even Russians. So there wasn’t much French other than the name at that time.
          1. +1
            29 October 2023 08: 08
            Quote: Oleg Apushkin
            The composition of the division is very diverse from many nations

            Well, yes, very colorful - Bretons, Swiss and Belgians... only they are French by nationality winked
            Quote: Oleg Apushkin
            there were even Russians.

            Well, yes, there were several people - descendants of white emigrants who had become French by that time...
            Quote: Oleg Apushkin
            So there wasn’t much French other than the name at that time.

            Where are such conclusions from? Or, for example, Alexander Kolchak, a Parisian, who is he - French, Russian, Turk?
        2. The comment was deleted.
        3. 0
          29 October 2023 14: 14
          Quote from: AllX_VahhaB
          They also defended the Reichstag to the last...

          Why did they surrender their beloved France in a month? One division, recruited from scratch, says absolutely nothing about the nation or the army as a whole. The combat effectiveness of an army is determined by the results of the war, and not by the defense of one building.
    3. +1
      29 October 2023 02: 36
      It is possible that Napoleon, without a gang of Europeans, would have been buried on a field near Moscow.
      1. +1
        29 October 2023 16: 53
        It is possible that Russia without the support of Europeans (English gold, large forces chained in Spain by the British and Spaniards, and Prussia and Austria fought much more with the French than helped them) would not have survived even in defense, not to mention the offensive (until 1813 all offensives against Napoleon ended ingloriously for large coalitions)...
    4. +1
      29 October 2023 03: 21
      Like a hedgehog from a joke. Powerful, but light.
      1. 0
        29 October 2023 04: 02
        Foants are proud birds, until they strike, they won’t fly good wassat
    5. 0
      29 October 2023 03: 54
      Colonizing habits are in the genes - on the “cart” and forward. This applies to all armies of the NATO bloc, what it is worth is shown by deliveries to the Northern Military District.
    6. 0
      29 October 2023 05: 10
      The French army will be strong and light. I hope it’s like the hedgehog from the joke.
    7. +1
      29 October 2023 06: 38
      When they have already been “asked” (thrown out) from four African countries, then questions should be asked not so much to the military as to French politicians led by Macron. And then there is the fact that French equipment has not proven itself very well in real combat conditions in Ukraine. And it turns out that the desire for a light, mobile army does not justify itself. Care to fight with the aborigines of a poorly developed country and with a real army - two big differences. Now they are scratching their heads wondering who is to blame and what to do.
    8. -1
      29 October 2023 06: 52
      Let’s breed more frogs and bedbugs and we will be invincible, said Macaron
    9. 0
      29 October 2023 08: 26
      "Army will one of the most powerful and light": the development strategy of the French ground forces
      Oh well. Where are the grandmothers, Zin?! laughing It's not eating frogs.
    10. IVZ
      29 October 2023 08: 29
      “The army will be one of the most powerful and lightest”
      If it is a colonial one, then, albeit with great stretch, it makes sense. Although looking at the armament of modern barmaleys, this is unlikely. So the police rapid reaction corps works until the arrival of the main forces, the presence of which is apparently not provided for.
    11. +1
      29 October 2023 08: 35
      Avec Macron et son compagnon Brigitte comme chef des Armées, l'ennemi n'a pas de souci à se faire!
    12. -1
      29 October 2023 10: 46
      They came quickly, raked powerfully and left easily. And with a jar of Vaseline everything will be even nicer.
    13. 0
      31 October 2023 12: 58
      They would look at the plans of the psheks, and then talk about the most powerful one. And things are starting to stir a little bit there, the women ministers have been dispersed, they are starting to scratch their turnips about how they got to such a life.

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