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01:03 PM, July 9, 2018
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Review of the Military Programming Bill by the National Defense and Armed Forces Commission of the National Assembly, March 13, 2018 (Image: Véronique Besnard via the French MoD website)

France plans to set up its own version of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program under which it will offer weapons in the international market on country-to-country basis.

The French Directorate General of Armament, the Directorate of Legal Affairs, and the EMA (Military Staff, Ed) together have set up the new form of ‘state-to-state’ contract with allied countries in the framework of strategic projects. The Defense Minister Florence Parly lauded the three organizations for their contribution during her speech at Balard, La Tribune reported last Thursday.

The French State will sign contract and act as an intermediary between the buyer countries and the French industrialists. They will buy the military equipment from the French defense groups on behalf of the buyer country. The state will also offer guarantee to the client country.

"It is not normal that the state does not benefit from more advantageous prices, when the export hypotheses become reality ," said Florence Parly, " this must change. The new FMS program approach will start functioning with the launch of MBDA’s next-generation air-to-air missile, MICA NG program at the end of this month, she added.

The ministry of the French armed forces wants a ‘state return’ or royalty for its support to the defense industry, the news daily reported.

“Tomorrow, if one of our partners asks us, and this is a strategic project for France, we will be able to present ourselves as a supplier, to offer all the desirable guarantees,” Parly was quoted as saying by the news daily.

The FMS arms export policy will help to consolidate France’s position on the international scene to guarantee its strategic autonomy and also strengthen the credibility of the armed forces. As part of an economic, industrial, operational and diplomatic logic, it also contributes to the financial sustainability of France's defense policy and the development of a good level of interoperability of French military capabilities, the news report stated.

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