France has decided to arm its surveillance drones in West Africa as part of counter-terrorism operations against IS militants, Defense Minister Florence Parly said on Tuesday.
The decision will initially apply only to the six unarmed Reaper surveillance drones that France bought from the United States. Most of them, based in Africa's Sahel region, are involved in the fight against Islamic extremists, Florence Parly was quoted as saying by Voice of America Tuesday.
The drones wouldn't become "killer robots," Parly said emphasizing that strikes would be governed by strict national and international rules relating to the use of force.
Arming the drones will give them "endurance, discretion, surveillance and strike capability at the right place and the right moment," she said in a speech in the southeastern city of Toulon.
The armed drones will assist France's military become "more effective" and enable it to better use its fighter jets, helicopters and other aircrafts. Parly added that in the longer term, France is also jointly working with Germany, Italy and Spain to develop an armed European drone.
The report said many countries are already using armed drones, including the United States, Israel, Great-Britain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey.
Air France-KLM has expanded its no-fly zone over North Korea after the companys flight carrying 323 people missed an area close to Pyong Yang's ballistic missile path by about 10 minutes last week. Last Fridays close encounter between the missile and Air France Flight 293 has raised fears that North Koreas missile tests may pose a threat to airlines operating in the region
An associate of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been charged in France with receiving bribes worth 30 million euros in a 2002 deal to buy two Scorpene submarines from the French company DCNS (now Naval Group). PM Razaks former adviser Abdul Razak Baginda was charged in France on July 18 with "active and passive complicity in corruption" and "misappropriation of corporate assets", the French judicial source told AFP
Frances Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has offered to expand shipbuilding cooperation with Italy into naval vessels to renegotiate STX France shipyard ownership deal. Le Maire said in an interview published on Sunday by Le Journal du Dimanche that he will open renegotiations in Rome on August 1, Reuters reports
France and Germany could develop a future European fighter jet to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale. The fighter program could expand from the current Anglo-French combat drone program
France has threatened to nationalize the STX France Defence Shipyard if Italy, which has sought a majority stake, does not accept its offer of equal ownership. Italy turned down yesterday the French proposal to of an equal share in STX France's ownership with Paris, saying it wanted the Italian state-owned Fincantieri shipbuilder to have a majority stake and control of the board,
France and Germany on Tuesday signed two joint letters of intent, including one on the Future Air Combat System (SCAF), designating "France as a leading nation" for the project to succeed the Rafale and the Eurofighter warplanes by 2040. According to a statement issued by the French Defence Ministry, the program will bring together "a new multi-purpose combat aircraft, adapted to contemporary air threats and exploiting the potential of artificial intelligence, network-based combat capabilities, including drones of various types
French lawmakers approved a two billion euros defence spending hike in 2018 to fund renewing military transporters, fighter jets and other equipment used in anti-terror operations in west Africa and the Middle East. The 1
France has pitched for a wide-ranging military contract with Belgium including the sale of Rafale fighter jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation. The Rafale, manufactured by Frances Dassault Aviation, is competing on the Belgian contract with Lockheed Martin's F-16, Boeing F/A-18, Eurofighter Typhoon and Swedens Saab Grippen,
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