France to postpone Mirage upgrades

July 9, 2010 at 12:31 PM
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PARIS, July 9 (UPI) -- The French government plans to postpone $888 million worth of upgrades to its Mirage 2000D fighter-bombers as part of an effort to cut back spending.

Defense Minister Herve Morin, speaking at a hearing this week of the Parliamentary Defense Committee, also said the government plans to delay acquisition of Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft and level-four of the SCCOA national air command-and-control system, according to a report from DefenseNews.

According to defense sources, Morin told the committee that some elements of the Scorpion land systems modernization program also would be postponed but major programs, such as the Barracuda nuclear attack submarine, the FREMM multimission frigate, the Rafale fighter and the VBCI armored vehicle would not be affected.

France's purchase of A400M airlifters would also go ahead as planned.

France hopes to slash about $4.4 billion from its defense budget.

The revised defense budget for 2011 will be S38.18 billion, $38.62 billion in 2012 and $39.2 in 2013, the publication quoted the defense minister.

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