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The Pathfinder N°33

NOVEMBER 2020

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L'Eclaireur N°32

NOVEMBER 2020

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L'Eclaireur N°31

SEPTEMBER 2020

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The Scout N°30

SEPTEMBER 2020

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L'Eclaireur N°29

JUNE 2020

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The Scout N°28

MARCH 2020

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L'Eclaireur N°27

FEBRUARY 2020

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The Scout N°26

DECEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°25

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L'Eclaireur N°24

DECEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°23

NOVEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°22

NOVEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°21

OCTOBER 2019

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The Scout N°20

OCTOBER 2019

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The Scout N°19

SEPTEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°18

SEPTEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°17

SEPTEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°16

JULY 2019

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The Scout N°15

JUNE 2019

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The Scout N°14

JUNE 2019

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Issue 20 - 07 October 2019

The Pathfinder is a subject-oriented watch for prospective studies on air-land operations, currently conducted by the Command Doctrine and Training Centre (CDEC).

This document is based solely on unclassified sources. Its purpose is to provide a quick fortnightly overview of the information disseminated in the media and likely to be of interest to the world of defence. The briefs collected are limited to raw summaries of the documents analysed and cross-checked whenever possible by interviews conducted by its editors. It is therefore up to each reader to contextualise this information, particularly when it comes from official foreign sources, according to the use he or she wishes to make of it and the nature of the conclusions that he or she must draw from it.





"India to spend a whopping USD 130 billion to modernize forces".

The Economic Times, 10 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

The Indian government has presented a road map to increase defence spending by $130 billion over the next five to seven years, an annual increase of about $20 billion. According to the document, the aim would be to modernize the Indian armed forces and strengthen their combat capabilities through the acquisition of missiles, air defence systems, fighter aircraft, drones, submarines and surface ships. As a reminder, India's defence budget amounts to some 62 billion dollars in 2019 (or 2.4% of GDP), an amount that has remained relatively stable over the last ten years compared with that of other emerging countries such as China, whose budget has doubled in a decade (177 billion dollars in 2019 or 2% of GDP).

Availability : 2025



"US approves sale of TOW-2A missiles and launches to Morocco"

Army Technology, 16 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

According to a press release from the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the United States approved Morocco's order for 400 launchers and 2,400 TOW-2A anti -tank guided missiles from the Raytheon company. The contract, worth $776 million, would also cover the acquisition of MK-82 and MK-84 bombs for Moroccan F-16s. This sale is taking place in a context marked by an increase in arms purchases from North African countries. As a reminder, last March Russia announced the sale of more than 2 billion dollars worth of fighter planes to Egypt, while in September Algeria announced the order for Russian SU-30 fighters.

Availability : N/A



"Быть 3D: новые локаторы создадут трехмерную картинку цели "

"3D: The new locators will create a three-dimensional image of the target."

IzvestiaSeptember 11, 2019

"Russia army to get photonic radars"

Army Recognition, 19 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

Tests of radio-photonic radars are said to be under way in the Russian army. Unlike current radars, which create electronic radiation in the area of operation (UHF), radiophoton locators would use a very high bandwidth optical signal processing path. This technology would allow them to be more resistant to electromagnetic radiation and smaller than existing radars. As such, they would be designed to accurately identify small targets, particularly in crowded space, using a 3D portrait. Tests would have been carried out with drones. However, not all traditional locators will be replaced by photonic locators in the coming years, as current technology remains relevant.

Availability : N/A



"Difesa: l'Italia aderisce all'European Intervention Initiative."

"Defence: Italy joins the European intervention initiative"

Ministero della Difesa, 20 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

In an official letter, Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini announced Italy's intention to join the European Intervention Initiative (EII). Launched in June 2018 on the initiative of France, with the signature of a letter of intent by 9 European defence ministers, the IEI aims to foster the emergence of a common strategic culture and increase the ability of European armies to act together. To date, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Estonia, Finland and the United Kingdom are members of the IEI.

Availability : N/A



"General Dynamics unveils Griffin II light tank for Mobile Protected Firepower of US Army"

Army Recognition, 23 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

At Modern Day Marine Expo 2019 in Virginia, the American company General Dynamics presented for the first time the model of its new Griffin II light tank concept. It is part of the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF ) program launched in 2017 by the US Army. The MPF programme calls for the acquisition of 500 new light armoured, cyber-resilient, air-transportable, high firepower vehicles to equip Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs). Weighing less than 30 tonnes, with a 120 mm gun, improved armour and active protection, the Griffin II falls into this category. For this market, General Dynamics is competing with BAE Systems, which has developed a similar prototype based on an evolution of the M8 tank. A test phase should take place in the spring of 2020 to decide between the two candidates, before a selection in 2022 and entry into service in 2025.

Availability : 2025



"Lynx 41 disqualified from Bradley replacement competition ."

Defense Nexws, October 5, 2019

Rheinmetall, September 30, 2019

(source cross-checking)

Proposed by Rheinmetall as part of theNext Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team programme, the Lynx armoured vehicle was excluded from the tender to to replace part of the Bradley infantry combat vehicles in service with theUS Army. According to the tender, the new armoured vehicle is expected to be light, air transportable, teleoperable, suitable for combat in urban areas, with a 30-50 mm gun and a modular active protection system. The Lynx met these criteria, since it had a 30 or 35 mm gun, TOW missiles, an active protection system and a weight of 38 or 44 tonnes depending on its configuration. According to several sources, it was disqualified because of the administrative difficulties encountered by the manufacturer in delivering the prototype within the allotted time.

Availability : 2026



"Тихий дрон: армия получит первый отряд беспилотных разведчиков"

"Silent Drones: The Army will receive the first squad of reconnaissance drones."

Izvestia, 24 September 2019

(single source)

According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, Altius silent long-range reconnaissance UAVs are expected to enter service soon, after making their first flights on 3 August 2019. They could carry out reconnaissance missions, precision strikes and designate targets for the Iskander and Kalibr missiles. These UAVs are expected to be used on Russia's western borders from Ukraine to the Baltic Sea. Altius could fly at a cruising speed of 150 to 250 km/h, with a range of 24 hours and would carry a one-tonne payload.

Availability: N/A



"Switzerland chooses Thales to monitor and protect its airspace"

Thales, 26 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

As part of a call for tenders aimed at renewing surveillance components for Swiss airspace, Thales' C2 Skyview system was selected against Sweden's Saab and the American Raytheon. This system integrates, merges and retrieves all data from surveillance radars and communication systems to improve the overall representation of airspace. This acquisition programme is part of the Air 2030 project, which also includes the renewal of Switzerland's ground-to-air defence capabilities and the acquisition of new combat aircraft..

Availability : 2025-2030



"Lavrov says Russia delivered arms to CAR at no cost in September."

TASS, 26 September 2019

Лавров сообщил о поставке Россией Россией второй оружия в

Kommersant, 27 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

In September, Russia reportedly made a second delivery of arms to the Central African Army free of charge (the first batch was reportedly delivered in February 2018). Russia had obtained authorization from the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee to make these donations of small arms to the Central African Republic (CAR) under embargo. Now the Russian foreign minister is calling for a relaxation of the embargo on arms sales to the CAR. Between 2018 and 2019, more than 3,000 army officers are reported to have been trained by Russian instructors.

Availability: N/A



"Российская армия начала закупки танков Т-90 последней модификации"

"The Russian army has begun to buy the latest version of the modernized T-90 tanks"

Interfax, September 30, 2019

(source cross-checking)

According to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces, the Russian Armed Forces have acquired modernized T-90M Breakthrough-3 tanks. This tank would be equipped with a new turret, a 125 mm gun and a 12.7 mm remotely operated machine gun. It would be equipped with an automated digital fire control system that would significantly improve target acquisition and tracking. As part of the Russian Army's modernization programme, it would also include the upgrading of much older equipment such as T-72B3M tanks, BMP-2 and BMP-3 infantry combat vehicles and BTR-82 armoured personnel carriers. The aim would be to increase the proportion of upgraded armaments from 60% to 80% by 2020.

Availability : N/A



"Facebook invests in a wristband that allows you to control machines with your mind."

Futura science, September 24, 2019

(single source)

On September 23, 2019 Facebook announced the acquisition of CTRL-Labs, a company that would develop a wristband capable of driving a computer using electrical signals or impulses transmitted to muscles by the brain to translate thought into action. Other companies have also entered the race for the "connected brain", including Elon Musk's Neuralink . The latter would work on a tiny sensor that would be implanted directly into the brain. However, several neurology experts have expressed doubts about the implementation of such technologies, given the complexity of the human brain.

Availability : N/A



"Ukrainian forces receive Bars-8MMK mortar vehicles."

Jane's, September 27, 2019

(source cross-checking)

After a test phase at the end of 2018, the Ukrainian Army received its first BARS-8 MMK vehicles equipped with 120 mm mortars. Mounted on the rear of a 4x4 light armoured vehicle produced by the Ukrainian company Bogdan, this mortar with a range of 8,000m could fire up to 60 shells at a rate of 12 rounds/minute. Equipped with an integrated fire control system, it would be rapidly deployable and could be operated from inside or outside the vehicle.

Availability : current



"Новый ударный дрон "Охотник" и истребитель Су-57 впервые совершили совместный полет"

"The new SU-70 "Okhotnik-B" UAV and SU-57 made their first joint flight"

Interfax, September 27, 2019

"Watch Russia's S-70 Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Fly With An Su-57 For The First Time"

The Drive, September 27, 2019

(source cross-checking)

According to a video published by the Russian Ministry of Defence, the SU-70 Okhotnik UAV Okhotnik flew for the first time in formation with a SU-57 fighter plane. After the broadcast of a video of the first tests of the SU-70 in August, these new images show it flying for half an hour alongside an SU-57. The interest of such a drone is to be able to point out targets beyond the radar field of the accompanying aircraft. With a wingspan of 20 metres and a length of 14 metres, the SU-70 would have a take-off weight of 20 tonnes, would be capable of flying at 1 000 km/h for 6 000 km and could carry up to 2.8 tonnes of weaponry. According to announcements made at the Russian MAKS 2019 exhibition, it should equip the Russian forces in 2025.

Availability : 2025



"200 air and missile defense soldiers set to deploy to Saudi Arabia."

Military Times, 27 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

Following the attacks on 14 September 2019 on the oil sites of the Saudi giant Aramco (see Scout No. 20), the US State Department has announced that 200 US military personnel, a Patriot anti-missile battery and Sentinel radars will soon be sent to Saudi Arabia. As a reminder, in October 2017 the State Department approved the delivery of 16 THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) air defence batteries to Saudi Arabia. Susceptible to intercept missiles with a range of 800 to 1,500 km depending on their trajectory, they have been deployed since March 2019 in the north of the country.

Availability: N/A



"Millionenauftrag aus Ungarn"

"Hungary: a multi-million dollar contract"

Rheinmetall, September 30, 2019

"Rheinmetall awarded production contract for Hungary's Leopard 2, PzH 2000s."

Jane's 360, September 30, 2019

(source cross-checking)

German industrialist Rheinmetall announced that it has been awarded a contract worth 300 million euros to equip 44 Leopard 2 tanks and 24 PzH 2000 self-propelled armoured guns for the Hungarian forces. Ordered in December 2018 as part of the "Zrinyi 2026" force modernisation programme, they will complement the 27 Soviet-built T-72 battle tanks available to Hungary. Rheinmetall should supply the main armament (120 and 155mm guns) and the fire control system, in partnership with the industrialist Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), which will supply the vehicles. These deliveries should begin in 2021, making Hungary the 19th user country of the Leopard tank.

Availability : 2025



"The Air Force Is Developing Its First-Drone-Killing Microwaves Weapon."

Popular Mechanics, September 24, 2019

"With this microwave weapon, the United States declares war on drones."

New Plant, October 1, 2019

(source cross-checking)

The US Air Force is testing a new microwave weapon system designed by the American company Raytheon. Called Phaser, it would make it possible to shoot down class 1 and 2 drones (weighing less than 25 kg, flying at an altitude of less than one kilometre and with a speed of less than 370 km/h), alone or in swarms, by overloading their electrical systems with energy in less than a microsecond. This system would require the support of operators, responsible for validating the identification of the UAVs detected by its radar. The recent attacks on oil sites in Saudi Arabia have accelerated American awareness of the need to acquire anti-UAV weapons. Tests should take place until December 2020, before Phaser is deployed abroad if successful.

Availability: December 2020



"China Parades its latest missiles in challenge to US, others"

Military,1 October 2019

(source cross-checking)

During the parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, the new weapons and equipment of the Chinese army were presented. Among these new items was the Dong Feng-17 (DF-17). Mounted on a vehicle, this hypersonic ballistic nuclear missile would be "capable of piercing all the anti-missile shields deployed by the United States and its allies" according to the Chinese authorities. The DF-17 would be much more difficult to detect and intercept than its predecessors thanks to its speed, its ability to fly at low altitude and the use of Mirvage technology, which allows a missile to be equipped with several warheads each following its trajectory. The DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile has also attracted attention because of its range of up to 15 000 km, far more than its American equivalent, the Trident II , which has a range of about 12 000 km. The latest CJ-100 supersonic land-based cruise missile was also presented. Of unknown range, it could replace the CJ-10 cruise missile currently in service, which has a range of 1 500 km.

Availability : current




"The Ministry of the Armed Forces will soon be receiving micro reconnaissance robots."

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 20 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

As part of the SCORPION program, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces has announced the order of 56 remotely operated terrestrial micro-robots from the industrialist NEXTER associated with ECA. Notified on August 26th by the Directorate General of Armament (DGA), this order concerns three types of robots: the Nerva-S short-range reconnaissance robot (3kg), capable of overcoming small obstacles and moving in tight spaces, the Nerva-LG extended reconnaissance robot (5kg), which can be equipped with additional kits (mapping, long-distance observation) and capable of climbing stairs, and the Nerva-XX or Chameleon-LG robot (12kg ), intended for engineers, whose articulated arm can lift loads (up to 4.5kg) and neutralise explosive devices. Discreet and resistant to jamming, these robots can be used by a single landed fighter.


Availability : 2020




"Celtic Uprise, France and Belgium united in operational readiness"

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 20 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

From 18 to 25 September 2019, the first major Franco-Belgian exercise of the CaMo (motorised capacity) strategic partnership, known as Celtic Uprise, took place. Bringing together 759 soldiers, 213 of whom were French, the exercise had a dual objective: to train a joint battle group (GTIA) in stabilisation operations and to affirm French doctrine as a reference for both land forces. As a reminder, the CaMo cooperation agreement, signed in 2018, provides for the re-equipment of the Belgian army's manoeuvre units through the acquisition of equipment from the Scorpion programme (382 Griffon and 60 Jaguar armoured vehicles).

Availability : N/A



"The F3 helmet, a ballistic protection effect dedicated to the fighter."

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 20 September 2019

(source cross-checking)

On the occasion of the 17th edition of the Defence Summer University (UED), the Service du Commissariat des Armées (SCA) announced that the first deliveries of the new F3 helmets would take place in 2020. According to the Ministry of the Armed Forces, "the evolution of operational needs, induced by a strategic environment in full mutation, led the Centre Interarmées du Soutien Equipements Commissariat (CIEC) to design and carry out this modernization of the FELIN combat helmet". The helmet's carrying capacity has been significantly increased thanks to the installation of function rails for the attachment of accessories and small tactical equipment. More robust, thanks to the shrapnel stopping properties offered by its aramid shell, it is resistant to 9mm calibre bullets.

Availability : 2020



"The General Delegate for Armaments inaugurates the production line for the software radio Contact which will soon equip the armies."

Ministry of Armed Forces, September 23, 2019

(source cross-checking)

On 17 September, the General Delegate for Armament, Joël Barre, inaugurated in Cholet (49) the production line of the future CONTACT software radios, intended to replace the PR4G radios, in service in the armies since the 1990s. This contract, awarded to Thales, aims to provide forces with a secure, high-speed tactical radio communications system. This equipment will be tailored to the specific needs of various operational uses. A total of 8,400 CONTACT radio sets should be delivered to the armed forces by 2025, first to the Army, then to the Air Force and finally to the Navy.

Availability : 2025



"A 2020 budget in line with the WLP."

Air & Cosmos, 26 September 2019

"Finance bill for 2020"

National Assembly, September 24, 2019

(source cross-checking)

According to the draft finance law (PLF) for 2020, the budget of the Ministry of the Armed Forces is expected to increase by 1.7 billion euros in 2020. Provided for in the Military Programming Law (LPM) 2019-2025, this increase will bring the defence budget to 37.5 billion euros, or 1.86% of GDP. It concerns above all equipment credits (P146) which should increase by more than one billion euros in 2020. As a reminder, the LPM 2019-2025 provides for an annual increase of 1.7 billion euros from 2019 to 2022, followed by an increase of 3 billion euros from 2023 to 2025, which should make it possible to reach the objective of 2% of GDP in 2025.

Availability : N/A



"The new sports outfit."

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 27 September 2019

(single source)

The distribution of the first renovated sportswear (TSR) has begun. Designed for the practice of all activities from team sports to cross-country, this new multi-sport clothing brings a modernization both in terms of materials used and the cut based on civilian standards. Available in summer and winter versions, the former consists of a versatile short and a t-shirt, the latter includes a pair of trousers and a weatherproof jacket in the colours of the French military team. Finally, particular attention has been paid to the ergonomics of the outfits so that men and women can wear the same outfit.

Availability : in progress



"A quadriplegic patient was able to walk because of an exoskeleton connected to his brain."

Le Monde, 4 October 2019

(single source)

Resulting from ten years of research by several French teams, this prototype is based on a series of electrodes implanted in the skull in order to capture brain signals and translate them into motor signals. In this way, the researchers have shown the possibility of capturing continuous electrical activity and transmitting it in real time to a computer. Nevertheless, this exoskeleton is still far from being adapted to everyday gestures. On the other hand, this system could initially help tetraplegic people to steer their wheelchair or pilot a motorised arm.

Availability : N/A




"The Future of U.S. Military Doctrine Will Be Decided by Technology."

The National Interest, September 17, 2019

(single source)

Robert Scales, former president of theArmy War College, published an article on the growing influence of technology on doctrine. According to him, the US military is currently positioned halfway between "developing a vision and developing a concept". The emerging concept of Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), which recognizes that technological innovation has made operations more complex, is pushing the military to build its doctrine around a threat rather than a concept.s capabilities. Unlike theAir Land Battle doctrine, which is limited to Europe, the MDO doctrine would extend its scope to Russia and China. The author thus denounces the essentially offensive vision of this doctrine, whose shortcomings would reflect mistakes already made when past generations failed to keep pace with technological change.

Availability : N/A



"The 70th Anniversary Military Parade of the People's Republic: A Revelation of China's Strategic Power"

Strategic Research Foundation and GEO4I, September 24, 2019

(single source)

On1 October 2019, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China (PRC), a new military parade took place in Beijing. This event came in the wake of the publication of the White Paper on National Defence in July 2019, whose main objective was to reassure the international community of the intentions of the Chinese army. This parade was the first time that China's conventional and nuclear ballistic capabilities were on display.

This parade is part of a contexts tensions with the United States and the questioning of international arms treaties. In this way, China wishes to demonstrate its ability to make rapid qualitative and quantitative changes in its nuclear arsenal and its capacity for innovation in the field of conventional precision strike forces. According to the author, by maintaining a deliberately restricted format and accelerating the modernization of the non-nuclear segment, China is implying that it is controlling its armaments without the need for an international treaty.

Availability : current




"Modi Reimagines the Indian Military"

Foreign Policy, 6 September 2019

(single source)

While last August Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of the post of Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), a post which the Indian Army has so far lacked, Foreign Policy looks back at the recent evolution of Indian doctrine and the necessary modernisation of its forces. According to the author, India would fear above all the Chinese capacity to rapidly mobilize troops in Tibet and on the Sino-Indian border, as well as the evolution of the partnership between China and Pakistan. Indeed, India does not seem to rule out the possibility of a joint attack by these two countries against it. The recent reassignment of 200 officers from headquarters to regiments and the appointment of a director in charge of information warfare illustrate India's awareness and the Prime Minister's desire for modernisation in recent years. Nevertheless, the author believes that these reforms remain insufficient if India is to achieve its military ambitions.

Availability : N/A




Tribute to President Jacques Chirac

21 speeches by President Jacques Chirac are available on the Revue de Défense Nationale.

Jacques Chirac's military career was divided into two phases, first in the field and then in command.

From Saumur to Algeria (1955-1957)

A graduate of the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, Jacques Chirac began his military service on April 15, 1955 at the École de Cavalerie de Saumur. Upon his graduation, he insisted on going to fight in Algeria. Assigned to the 11th and then the 6th Regiment of African Chasseurs (RCA), he landed in the Souk-el-Arba sector, in the Tlemcen region, on1 April 1956. Wounded in the face during fighting, he was promoted to lieutenant, before returning to France at the end of his military service in June 1957. This experience left a deep impression on him and partly explains his attachment to the armies.

Jacques Chirac, Head of the Armed Forces (1995-2007)

He carried out several reforms that profoundly changed the French army, including the suspension of conscription in favour of a professional army. If these twelve years spent at the Élysée were marked by numerous external operations (Kosovo, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan, DRC, Central African Republic, Lebanon etc.), they were above all marked by his refusal to intervene in Iraq in 2003. By opposing the will of his American counterpart, George W. Bush, he reaffirmed France's independence and sovereignty. Finally, in 2006, President Chirac expanded France's nuclear doctrine, ten years after the announcement of the definitive end of French nuclear tests in 1996. This expansion makes it possible to use nuclear weapons against the leaders of states using terrorist means against France.



September 15, 1916, the tanks arrive."

Herodote

On 15 September 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, the first tanks - then called tanks or reservoirs - were engaged by the British at Flers (80). These are armoured vehicles that move with the help of a track that allows them to overcome any type of obstacle, including barbed wire protecting the trenches. This tank was a synthesis of the military and civil technologies of the time: the caterpillars were in fact inspired by the equipment used in agriculture at the beginning of the 20th century. Lieutenant-Colonel Ernest Swinton succeeded in convincing the first Lord of the Admiralty and Winston Churchill to integrate the tanks into the British army. In France, at the same time, General Jean-Baptiste Estienne was one of the first to understand the military interest of these tanks and managed to convince the military establishment, not without difficulty. It wasn't until 16 April 1917 that the first French tanks(Schneider CA1) were engaged in the battle of the Chemin des Dames.

 


 
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