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French air force loosing ability to fly

In October, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly confirmed that “14 Rafale aircraft of the French Air Force are tightly nailed to the ground because they are simply disassembled for spare parts.”

According to data revealed in 2020 , the French Air Force have 102 Rafale fighter jets in service. It turned out that at least 14 of them cannot be used for flights. They were partially disassembled to maintain the other aircraft of this type. Such a practice is widely used by military forces with insufficient funding.

This ineffectiveness was the result of the 2009-2014 Law on Military Planning (LPM). The French Air Force supported Dassault Aircraff at a difficult time and bought its Rafale aircraft, but the purchase did not include a set of spare parts. This led to the sacrifice of some of them.

According to the LPM 2019-2025, the French Air Force should have 129 Rafale aircraft by 2025.

To achieve the plan, 12 more units of the Rafale in the F3R standard were ordered by the French Air Force. They should be delivered by 2025.

Paris should profit from the funds received from the sale of 12 supported Rafale to Greece in 2021-2022 to pay the purchase.
The order will be “financed within the framework of the Law on Military Planning, the loans of which will be supplemented by proceeds from the sale of used aircraft to Greece,” which was then estimated at 400 million euros.”- Parly claimed.

Unfortunately, Parly’s plan will not come true.

As a result, Parly now declares that the contract with Greece will not be used to buy new planes, but first of all will help to restore the aircraft that are in non-flying condition. The contract with Greece only makes it possible to commission aircraft that have become spare parts.
The sale of used Rafale aircraft to Greece will not only earn 400 million euros, but also supply the French armed forces, instead of the old, more modern aircraft capable of performing the most complex combat tasks.” The new planes, Parly said, will be “a plus for the Air Force, since on average our fleet of Rafale aircraft will be more modern than the one we would have without these orders.” – Parly added.
Having a military budget of two percent of GDP, the French armed forces may only get the equipment, and they do not have enough funds to support the real operational capabilities. In addition to modern aviation technology, the French Air Force need well-trained technicians and pilots, modern equipment, as well as a sufficient amount of weapons and ammunition. The French need this to fulfill their direct task: conducting combat operations, and not just flying over Paris on Bastille Day.

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