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France to re-launch a small calibre ammunition sector

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Vergennes, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Strategist Staff Member MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    @Nilgiri @Abingdonboy @PARIKRAMA @Gessler

    The industrial groups NobelSport, Thales and Manurhin will resurrect a small ammunition manufacturing sector in France, which disappeared in the late 1990s. A 100 million euro project initiated by the Minister of Defense.

    [​IMG]

    The Famas' successor will not be French, its his ammunition will be "Made in France". Britanny group NobelSport, a specialist in gunpowder for hunting ammunitions , Thales and the Manurhin group signed an agreement on Friday (March 17th) in Pont-de-Buis (Finistère departement) to resurrect a French small ammunition manufacturing sector (5,56mm ,7,62mm and 9mm) on the occasion of a visit by Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. "It is a matter of national sovereignty," said the Minister of Defense, who initiated the project. "Made in France is being made into action, not just in the speech."

    The event is of importance: the small-caliber munitions production made in France disappeared in 1999, when the former GIAT (renamed Nexter) had halted the production of ammunitions for the Famas rifle. Since then, the French army has been buying abroad its 100 million annual ammunition (about 35 cents per unit), with various problems.
    A first contract was awarded in 2006 to the British BAE and the Israeli IMI. A disaster: the ammunition had proved faulty, due to deficient ballistics after 50 meters.
    Two years later, a major new incident occurred: 37 accidents were reported with the ammunition supplied by the emirati ADCOM, finally banned in April 2009. The army then turned to the American ATK, the German MEN, the British BAE and the Brazilian CBC for its supplies.

    Nobel Sport, French leader of the powder

    In a report by the Defense Committee of the National Assembly devoted to the ammunition sector, published in December 2015, the deputies Nicolas Bays and Nicolas Dhuicq were alarmed by this dependence. "These ammunition are all foreign," they stressed, insuring fear for "the independence and sovereignty of our supplies." They therefore suggested the resurrection of a French sector, which would require an investment of 100 million euros. "The profitability would be ensured from an annual production of 60 million cartridges provided that a constant level of orders is ensured during the first five years," wrote the deputies.


    It is a visit of Jean-Yves Le Drian in April 2016 at NobelSport, in Finistère, which really triggers the project. The minister discovers that the Pont-de-Buis site, which has been producing powder since a decree of Colbert in 1687, has become a recognized leader in the powder market for ammunition for hunting. "It was realized that this industrialist had a third of the world market of the ammunition of hunting, and that there wasn't a lack, in technological terms, to pass to the production of war ammunitions,sources close to the Minister of Defense said.

    Thales enters the stage

    This little thing is Thales who will bring it. More precisely, its Australian subsidiary, built on the acquisition of ADI (Australian Defense Industries) in 2006. This subsidiary has mastered both the design of assault rifles (F88, F90) and small caliber ammunition. Thales accepts a reverse technology transfer to the French submarines sold in Canberra. This time, it is Australia that transfers its know-how to France, on the Thales site of la Ferté Saint-Aubin (Loiret). Remains only to find a partner to recreate an ammunition assembly line. It falls well, another French actor, the mulhousien Manurhin, is specialized in the machines of Cartridges. Since its creation in 1919, it has installed more than 13,000 machines in more than 60 countries.

    All the ingredients are combined so that the French ammunition industry can be reborn from its ashes. The announcement today marks the officialization of the project, whose poetic code name,was "Provinces of France": The industrialists commit themselves to realize the new production tool, estimated at less than 100 millions of euros. The Ministry of Defense commits itself to regular orders of ammunition to the sector, as well as the Home Ministry for the police forces. "The industrialists are committed to offering a competitive price," the MoD welcomes. Manurhin will manufacture the machines in Mulhouse, Thales the metal parts at Ferté-Saint-Aubin, and NobelSport will design the primers in Anneyron (Drôme). Powder production and final assembly will be carried out at the historic site of Nobel Sport in Pont-de-Buis.

    The French team aims to export

    The ammunition assembled by this new French team of powder will equip in particular the German HK416 rifles, the successor of Famas recently chosen by the DGA. But industrialists also rely on exports, which could account for 50% of their production. The first ammunition could be delivered in 2020-2021 if a contract is signed quickly with the DGA. The estimated time for the production, development and testing of ammunitions is estimated at three years.

    https://www.challenges.fr/entrepris...efaire-parler-la-poudre-made-in-france_461145
     
  2. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Its logical for a country like France to have thriving small arms industry.
    Importing small arms is like [​IMG]
     
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  3. Nilgiri

    Nilgiri Lieutenant GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    No .45 ACP or .40 S&W? :p.....9mm bah! (but I guess its the NATO argument here)

    You guys mostly use the Beretta 92 for side arm right?
     
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  4. Vergennes

    Vergennes Strategist Staff Member MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    The French army currently uses the MAC50 and the PAMAS G1 (slightly modified Beretta 92) for side arms. I remember reading the army is soon going to replace 'em,but heard nothing since then.

    BTW,the 9mm's production will also benefit to the Home,Justice and Finance ministries. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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