France Trying to Streamline Arms Exports
Le Figaro reports that following France’s latest loss of its Moroccan Rafale fighter sale to used American F-16s, Sarkozy has set up a new high-level unit consisting of the president, the prime minister, the ministers of defense, finance and foreign affairs and the commander in chief of the army. UPI story.
The aims are twofold. The first is to put everyone on the same page, so embarrassing failures like the one that shot down the Rafale sale can’t happen again. The second aim is to be able to quickly assemble competitive arms packages. Of course, if unwanted equipment bundling was the main problem that recently shot down Eurocopter’s multi-billion Euro Saudi sale, the solution is to listen to the customer, rather than assembling bundled deals at a faster rate.
On Dec 13/07, more detailed information appeared on the French Ministère de la Défense web site. MoD release | Defence Aerospace translation. The gist is that France aims to simplify and reduce export application procedures, develop a national strategic plan to support defense exports, modernize support delivery, and improve the procedures for selling surplus equipment.