Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/30/2014 -- BMI expects France to spend US$49.9bn on defence in 2014, a reduction from the US$50.6bn the country spent on its military in 2013. In December 2013 it was reported that France would make a number of reductions to its defence budget for 2014, which will include reductions to the defence equipment and the maintenance and support budgets.
In February 2014 France agreed to dispatch elements of the joint Franco-German brigade to assist the training of the Malian armed forces. The United Nations took over the French-led peace enforcement mission in Mali in July 2013. In January 2014, France said it would cut the numbers of troops in Mali from 2,500 to 1,600 by March 2014.
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France is currently examining a rebalancing of its forces in Africa, which could see the establishment of four major bases in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger, and the stationing of around 3,000 troops as a rapid reaction force for deployment to trouble spots as and when they emerge.
During Q114, France announced several military modernisation initiatives. These include a requirement for a new weapon to supersede the army's existing FAMAS assault rifle. Similarly, the French air force has announced plans to upgrade Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft and some of its legacy turboprop freighters with new cockpits, avionics and special forces equipment. Upgrades are also going ahead for the Rafale multirole combat aircraft operated by the air force and navy. The upgrade will include the installation of new weapons, targeting systems and sensors.
France has ordered new anti-tank guided missiles and 250 logistics vehicle. Furthermore, it has been announced that France will acquire two versions of its new Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft which will equip its air force and the country has awarded a contract for the provision of the ground segment of its Multinational Space-Based Imaging System (MUSIS) satellite constellation.
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