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Armed forces budget: the Assembly votes to add an observation satellite – France

The deputies voted Thursday in favor of the deployment by 2030 of a new generation military observation satellite, added to the military programming bill (LPM) currently being examined in the National Assembly. This measure was introduced by an amendment tabled by the government, as it had promised. The Minister for the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu specified in the hemicycle that he had conducted “a certain number of negotiations with the industrialist”.

This Iris military satellite is thus programmed within the framework of the LPM 2024-2030, without waiting as initially planned for the future post-2030 programming law.

“We are delighted that the government has negotiated in this direction”, rejoiced the deputy LFI Bastien Lachaud, who had tabled an identical amendment.

Two French CSO spy satellites are currently in orbit. A third, which was to be launched at the end of 2022, is now “planned for 2024” according to the government. The LPM project initially provided for the Iris program, which will take over from CSO, to result in the putting into orbit of two satellites between 2030 and 2035.

MEPs also unanimously adopted on Thursday a government amendment specifying the timetable for the new generation of secure military communications satellites, which is to succeed the current generation called Syracuse 4.

Syracuse 5 “will be launched during this programming law”, assures the voted amendment. “It will be a legacy satellite model, geostationary in high orbit”, obtained to specify the LFI group.

Debates around artificial intelligence

Another government amendment adopted Thursday provides for the order of “38 Jaguar armored vehicles and 92 additional Griffon armored vehicles” compared to the initial text of the bill, to replace equipment transferred to Ukraine after its filing. The government will finance this measure “outside the budgetary resources of the LPM”.

The Assembly also voted on amendments from majority deputies, asking for studies to decide before 2028 whether it is necessary to acquire a second aircraft carrier, in addition to the one whose construction is planned in the LPM.

The idea that a machine, in particular an artificial intelligence, could one day decide who should live and who should die is unacceptable

The deputies also adopted an amendment from the executive detailing “the contribution to sovereignty in Mayotte”. “100 additional soldiers will be supported by a new means of amphibious transport, for at least 300 days a year by Navy buildings equipped with drones and more regularly by surveillance planes”, it is specified.

Regarding military drones, an environmental amendment was adopted aimed at “guaranteeing human control” of future systems. “The idea that a machine, in particular an artificial intelligence, can one day decide who should live and who should die is unacceptable”, argued the leader of the ecologists, Cyrielle Chatelain.

The bill, examined since Monday at first reading by the Assembly, provides for an envelope of 413 billion euros over seven years, a marked increase compared to the previous budget of the armies (295 billion for 2019-2025). It is on the agenda of the hemicycle until June 2.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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