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France ‘doesn’t rule out’ requisitions for war production

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Paris may requisition staff, stock or facilities for arms production or force manufacturers to prioritise military over civilian orders, French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said Tuesday.

“For the first time, I’m not ruling out using what’s permitted by law,” Lecornu told reporters in Paris alongside military chiefs.

That would mean “either making requisitions or invoking the right to priority if pace and production times aren’t up to scratch,” he added.

Paris has been pushing its arms industry to produce more and faster to supply the French armed forces and sustain support for Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, now in its third year.

Requisitions — “the toughest tool in our legal arsenal” — are “not the tool we’re prioritising at the moment,” Lecornu said.

But “I’m telling you that this exists because it makes things clear to everyone, there will be no surprises,” he added.

By contrast, certain manufacturers will be ordered to reach minimum levels of stock or prioritise military deliveries “in the next few weeks,” Lecornu said.

He also criticised what he called a temptation to resort to “just-in-time production and not have enough stock of raw materials or parts” among companies looking to free up cash.

Lecornu gave the example of suppliers making parts for Aster anti-aircraft missiles produced by MBDA as one case where military priority would be “completely conceivable.”

The Aster has been used in Ukraine’s air defence as well as to fend off Huthi missile and drone attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, where two French frigates are deployed.

France has ordered 200 Aster missiles for delivery in 2026 at a cost of 900 million euros ($980 million) and could buy a further 200, Lecornu said.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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