Military programming law: the executive’s plan to upgrade our armies

Army budget on the rise the key figures of the

Modernizing the armies and adapting to international requirements: this is the objective of the new military programming law (LPM), examined by the deputies from this Monday, May 22. This must define the major orientations of French defense over the coming years. It provides for 413 billion euros in expenditure between 2024 and 2030, a “historic” budget according to the executive. By way of comparison, the previous LPM was counting on 295 billion euros in expenditure.

The government justifies this effort by the deterioration of the geopolitical context, with the war in Ukraine, terrorism in Africa, or the nuclear tests of North Korea. He believes he must remain at the cutting edge of technology, particularly in the fields of robotics, drones and artificial intelligence. Finally, the future LPM should make it possible to reach the threshold of 2% of GDP devoted to defence. This is a criterion imposed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), to which Washington is particularly attached. France will fulfill this objective “before the end of the five-year term”, promised the Minister of the Armies Sébastien Lecornu.

Military programming law 2024-2030 in key figures

© / the express

new aircraft carrier

In detail: the Defense budget is set at 43.9 billion euros, and will be supplemented by an additional 1.5 billion by the end of the year. It will then increase by around 3 billion euros each year until 2027, before increasing to 4 billion more in 2028, 2029 and 2030. The main item of expenditure should be nuclear deterrence, with the modernization of weapons and carriers.

The intelligence services, such as the DGSE (general directorate of external security) and the DRM (military intelligence directorate) will see their appropriations increase. The cyber defense and space sectors will also be strengthened. In the event of a rise in fuel prices, a clause similar to that of the previous LPM will ensure the armies the possibility of benefiting from credits. In terms of numbers, the law sets a target of 105,000 reservists to be reached by 2035 at the latest. Finally, the executive promises a new aircraft carrier to replace the Charles-de-Gaulle, by 2036 or 2037. Military support to Ukraine will not be counted as LPM expenditure.

This program has been disappointed, starting with the army. The LPM indeed provides for the postponement of the delivery of hundreds of armored vehicles. Deliveries of Rafale fighter jets will also be stretched over a longer period than expected. Finally, the budget is criticized on the right as on the left, in particular because of inflation. “413 billion, that means roughly 113 billion more than the existing LPM, except that you have 13 billion non-budgetary, on which we can have a doubt, and 35 billion which are due to inflation”, denounced Olivier Marleix, patron saint of Les Républicains deputies. Aurélien Saintoul, deputy La France Insoumise, added: “The room for maneuver that we claim to give to the armies is not as important as that.” After the National Assembly, the Senate will take up the project in mid-June. The government hopes that the text will be promulgated around July 14.