French legislators have approved the defence budget for 2017, including €600m on top of the amount initially provided for in the current multi-year defence spending plan for 2014-2019. The total of €32.69bn is 1.3% greater than the budget approved for 2016. Equipment spending gets a €300m boost, to €17.3bn.
The increase reflects the exceptional demands placed on French forces at the current time, with operations under way in the Middle East (Chammal) and Africa (Barkhane), as well as on the home front (Sentinelle). The high operational tempo is stretching resources and pushing equipment to the limit.
New equipment deliveries planned for 2017 include nine NH90 helicopters, six Tiger helicopters and three A400Ms. Only one new Rafale will be delivered (plus re-delivery of two French Navy aircraft upgraded to the F3 standard), as export customers take priority over the French forces for the next few years. The budget also provides for modernisation of 45 Mirage 2000Ds and an order for 15 PDL-NG targeting pods.