In order to support the aeronautics industry in France, the government launched on 9 June a vast support plan of 15 billion euros in aid, investments and loans and guarantees. The military component of this vast aeronautics support plan is based on the anticipation of orders to the tune of €600 million.

According to the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, this acceleration will “make it possible to safeguard more than 1 200 jobs for 3 years, throughout France, half of which will benefit subcontractors“.

Airbus Helicopters and its sub-contractors have been given a boost in particular, since the manufacturer has been notified of an advance order for eight Caracal helicopters which will replace the Air Force’s Puma helicopters from 2023, instead of 2028-2029. The order is worth a total of 300 million euros and “the equivalent of 960 jobs preserved for 3 years“, the minister said.

Other air fleets benefiting from this support include the Civil Security, which should receive two H145s for a total of 32 million euros to partially compensate for the loss of four aircraft.

The most important announcement, however, remains the advance order of ten  H160s for the Gendarmerie in order to partially renew the fleet of 26 AS350 Squirrels. These single-engine aircraft have in fact become obsolete, particularly for missions in urban areas, which have been banned since 2014.

This order, worth €200 million, should enable the Gendarmerie to have a streamlined fleet of fully multi-purpose aircraft. According to the Ministry, these twelve helicopters ordered (Civil Security and Gendarmerie) should preserve the equivalent of 640 jobs for 3 years.