France is a member of NATO and is a nuclear power. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that FRA stands for France. In
1966, France formally suspended its involvement in NATO's
military structure. There is, however, extensive and growing
cooperation with NATO. In 1989, a permanent secretariat was
established in Paris and a joint brigade was set up in
Germany. During the post-war period, an army corps (50,000
men) was stationed in Germany and a brigade (2,700 men) in
Berlin. These units left Germany in 1994.
In 1996, it was decided that France would again
participate in NATO's military committee and defense
ministerial meetings. At the same time, France announced its
decision to reorganize its defenses until 2002 so that
public service obligations were replaced by voluntary,
enlisted troops. France intended to participate fully in
NATO's rapid response forces.
A discussion was held in 2003 within the EU on a common
European defense and security policy in the formulation of
the new EU constitution. Germany, France and others states
stated that the transatlantic ties are of strategic
importance to NATO and thus to Europe's defense. However,
the question of a common European defense is still open.
Many states, including the United Kingdom, strongly oppose
such a defense. Developments in Afghanistan and conclusions
of the conflict between the Russian Federation and Georgia
(2008) have raised the question of the trade-off between
traditional, territorial defense and non-territorial
interventions, such as in Afghanistan, at its peak.
In 2008, France stated in its White Paper its focus on
defense. It stated that France would be fully integrated
with NATO's command structure, maintain its nuclear
capability, gather strength for national defense and
significantly reduce the numerical; 54,000 people would be
gone. At the same time, there is planning for defense
equipment pointing in a different direction. The final
decision basis is not yet available and will be affected by
the current economic crisis.
The defense comprises 352,000 men (2009). The reserves
amount to 70,000 people. The strategic combat forces include
4,000 men distributed on sea and airborne weapons carriers
with the emphasis on 4 submarine weapons. The ground combat
forces are organized with 4 mobile operative staffs with 8
brigades, one of which is airborne. The Foreign Legion
comprises 7,700 men and the Navy corps 18,000 men. All in
all, 600 tanks and 288 combat helicopters are used.
According to Digopaul,
the French navy comprises 46,000 men with 9 submarines, 32
larger surface combat vessels, of which 2 hangars, 20 patrol
boats, a navy corps of 2,500 men with 8 landing craft and a
naval aircraft of 6,400 men with about 90 fighter aircraft.
The Air Force comprises 57,000 men with about 260 fighter
aircraft, of which 74 fighter jets and 88 attack aircraft
type Mirage of different models. 24 Super-Étandard aircraft
can carry nuclear weapons. 106 heavy transport aircraft of
type A310 and C-130 are held together in a qualified air
Space control is exercised by a specially organized
brigade with satellites, aircraft and air defense systems.
Semi-military security forces, gendarmerie, amount to
100,000 men with 40,000 in reserve.
France's defense industry is very comprehensive and
highly export-oriented. The material is modern and often of
Defense costs decreased in 1985-2007 from 3.9% to 2.4% of
GDP and will decrease further.
In addition to the 2,500-person Joint Brigade in France,
France is involved in several UN peacekeeping operations,
namely Afghanistan (ISAF), Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR),
Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Djibouti,
French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Caribbean, Gabon,
Indian Ocean, Lebanon (UNIFIL), New Caledonia, Senegal,
Serbia (KFOR) and Tajikistan (ISAF). Belgium, Germany and
Singapore have small military units in French territory.
France has abolished public service, and since 2001 has
been a professional defense. The total strength is 203 900
active personnel, with a reserve of 36 300 personnel. In
addition, there are 103,400 personnel in semi-military
forces, with a reserve of 40,000 personnel (2018, IISS).
France has strategic nuclear forces that include four
submarines with ballistic missiles and 20 air-to-ground
France is a member of NATO. The country withdrew from the
NATO Military Committee and Defense Ministerial Meetings in
1966 because the country wanted full control of its own
nuclear weapons, but resumed its place in the Military
Committee in 1996. In the period 1966-95, the country was
represented by the commander of the French military mission
at the Military Committee.
A new defense reform was adopted in 2013 and involves an
increased focus on instability in Africa and Africa's
strategic importance, as well as continuing to fight
terrorism at home and abroad. In addition, the importance of
French strategic autonomy and security policy cooperation in
Europe was emphasized.
The army, the Armée de Terre, has 114 450 active
personnel. Among the heavier materials, the army includes
200 Leclerc tanks, 1516 clearing wagons, 627 storm tanks and
2338 armored personnel vehicles. In addition, the army
including 13 light transport aircraft, 272 helicopters,
including 70 combat helicopters of the type EC665 Tiger, and
23 medium-heavy drones.
The Air Force, Armée de l'Air, has a workforce
of 40,800 active personnel. Material comprising 41 fighters
central Mirage 2000, 167 combat aircraft (67 Mirage 2000D
and 100 Rafale), two ELINT aircraft, four E-3 Sentry AEW &
C-plane, 84 trainers and light attack aircraft of the type
Alpha Jet, 130 transport, 73 helicopters 48 training
The Air Force's strategic nuclear forces have 20 fighter
aircraft of the type 20 (Rafale), eleven C-135 tanker and
transport aircraft, and three KC-135 Stratotanker tankers.
Navy, Marine National, has a personnel strength
of 35 300. The fleet includes four strategic submarines
equipped with ballistic missiles, six formation submarines,
one nuclear powered aircraft carrier of Charles de Gaulle
class, three amfibiekrigsskip of Mistral class, 12
destroyers, 11 frigates, 20 patrol vessels, 17 minesweepers,
38 landings, and 34 logistics and auxiliary vessels.
The Navy has its own air force, which has a staff
strength of 6500. Material includes 42 Rafale fighter
aircraft, three E-2C Hawkeye AEW & C aircraft, 12 patrol
aircraft, four rescue aircraft, 26 transport aircraft, 38
anti-submarine helicopters, 45 multi-use helicopters and
seven training aircraft.
The gendarmerie has a staff force of 103,400 active
personnel, in addition to a reserve of 40,000. Materials
included 153 armored personnel vehicles, 38 patrol boats and
60 light helicopters.
France's international relations
France is a member of the UN and UN special
organizations, including World Bank; otherwise by i.a. The
European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe, the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the
World Trade Organization and the OECD. The country is linked
to its former colonies and other French-speaking countries
through a number of agreements (see also French Community).
France is represented in Norway at its embassy in Oslo
and consulates in a number of cities, while Norway is
represented in France at its embassy in Paris and consulates
in 22 cities in France and overseas.