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Défense
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Défense 2018

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La septième édition de la Conférence Défense du Conseil Franco-Britannique fut chaleureusement accueillie par l'Ambassadeur de France qu Royaume Uni, SE Mr. Jean-Pierre Jouyet, dans sa résidence londonienne les 19 et 20 septembre 2018. A cette occasion, des personnalités éminentes furent invitées a s'exprimer sur l'état et la direction des relations Franco-Britanniques dans le domaine de la défense.

Le rapport de la conférence retraçant les grandes lignes des sujets abordés lors des discours et tables-rondes est disponible ici.

En 2018, notre conférence fut soutenue par les ministères de la défense français et britannique et financée par le ministère de la défense britannique ainsi que par notre généreux partenaire commercial MBDA. Nous sommes honorés d'y avoir accueilli des porte-parole éminents et des participants de qualité et remercions chaleureusement tous nos partenaires pour leur soutien.

Initiée par le Conseil Franco-Britannique depuis le Traite de Lancaster House en 2010, la Conférence Défense s’est établie comme une plateforme d’échanges de référence autour des relations entre la France et le Royaume-Uni dans le secteur de la défense. Elle rassemble des représentants de la haute administration civile et militaire, du milieu parlementaire, industriel et académique des deux côtés de la Manche. Ses principaux objectifs sont de forger des relations nouvelles et de renforcer la compréhension mutuelle entre les deux pays dans le domaine de la défense. 

Consultez le rapport de la Conférence Défense 2017 ici.

Citations de nos partenaires:

“The Franco-British Council Defence Conference plays a key part in the security and defence relationship between our two countries. It provides a unique discussion space for prominent figures from government, Parliament, those in the defence industry, researchers and academics who are eager to take our bilateral cooperation forward for the maximum benefit of our two countries’ and Europe’s security.” HE Jean-Pierre Jouyet, Ambassadeur de France au Royaume-Uni.

Interview with Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA.

As our sponsor this year, we have asked Antoine Bouvier to share his views on their sponsorship, our Defence Conference, the bilateral relationships from a commercial perspective, and the key issues for the defence industry. Here are his responses in full. A good opportunity for us to thank MBDA and all our partners for generously supporting our 2018 Defence Conference.

CFB: Why are you sponsoring the Franco-British Defence Conference this year?

AB: The longstanding relationship between France and the UK in defence terms was one of the major factors leading to the creation of Matra Bae Dynamics in 1996 and MBDA in 2001. As separate national entities, it was clear then as it is now, that the critical mass required to design, develop and produce the most advanced defence capabilities required by the armed forces of the two countries could never be obtained working independently. Industrial cooperation, reflecting the operational cooperation between the two countries, is therefore crucial.

MBDA is delighted to support events like the Franco-British Defence Conference because, and I am proud to claim this, we are rightly seen not only as a European defence industry leader but also as the champion of European industrial cooperation and sovereignty, especially with regard to France and the UK. As a company, MBDA is very proud to be considered the partner of choice by France and the UK, the two major players in European defence, both in budgetary and capability terms.

CFB: How strong is the Franco British relationship from a commercial perspective?

AB: Much of what we have achieved as a company in developing and producing world-leading capabilities like the Storm Shadow / SCALP cruise missile would have been totally impossible if a very strong Franco-British cooperation had not been in place. Cooperation makes commercial as well as operational sense between two closely linked countries. The international programme that led to the Meteor long range air-to-air missile has been a great success and a further encouragement for France and the UK to recognize the advantages of continued industrial cooperation. This enthusiasm is evidenced by two other projects: the helicopter-launched Sea Venom / ANL anti-ship missile which is already in its latter stages of development as well as the Future Cruise / Anti-Ship Weapon (FC /ASW) which is still in its early conceptual phase.

MBDA has also adapted itself industrially by establishing Franco-British industrial centres of excellence aimed at reducing industrial duplication and thereby improving competitiveness and efficiency for the benefit of our customers.

CFB: What is the key-issue for the defence Industry this autumn?

AB: In general terms, the issue remains the need to offer our customers the capabilities they require at an affordable cost, on time and on quality. More specifically, with Brexit on the very near horizon, we have to prepare for all the potential outcomes to ensure that all the good that has come to date from Franco-British industrial cooperation under the Lancaster House treaty, and more generally between the UK and its European partners, is not compromised. Finally, it is essential that the very fruitful cooperation between France and the UK in the complex weapons domain, a cooperation which is of utmost importance with regard to shared operational capabilities, continues to be pursued. This will allow for the launch of the common strategic FC/ASW programme at the beginning of the next decade aimed at replacing the currently in-service Storm Shadow / SCALP, Exocet and Harpoon missiles.

CFB: What are you looking forward to seeing from the event?

AB: MBDA is looking forward to seeing a joint commitment backed by a shared enthusiasm amongst the conference participants to continue down the path we have already taken. Cooperation has taken us a long way already, but it can and will take us a lot further. Together, France and the UK can provide the catalyst for wider European cooperation, to ensure that the necessary equipment is made available to its armed forces as they meet the uncertain defence and security challenges that lie ahead.