Support at the Heart of the French Acquisition Process Restructuring

dgaOfficially announced on October 6th, 2009, the French DGA (Délégation générale de l’armement) is going through the same massive reorganization as the rest of the government main defense bodies: it follows the same philosophy and the same logic as the overall reforms launched over the past several years, which can be articulated into two major axis:

  • A re-centering of the DGA – which becomes the “Direction générale de l’armement” – on its core functions, reflected in the simplification of its organization into six main branches (strategy; acquisition operations; technical direction; international development; plans, programs and budget; human resources);
  • The streamlining and pooling of resources affected to support: overall the DGA is cutting 24% of its manpower by 2014 (from 13.000 to 10.000 people), but support is to be reduced by 40% mirroring the overall concentration of means and structures underway in the sector accross the French MoD.

DGA technical facilities are going to be gathered into 9 centers (vs 15 today) located in 15 different sites (vs 22 today): equipment testing is in particular going to be simplified, as it used to be spread all over France, translating into a staff reduction of 17%.

Overall technical expertise is however going to be boosted with a 4% increase in personnel to fit the primary DGA strategic axis, i.e. being “an informed investor; a daily partner to the armed forces; a  catalyser for European construction and a center of expertise”.

Both the economic recovery package launched by President Sarkozy in the aftermath of the economic crisis (new military equipment has been ordered, for a value of 110 millions Euros, in that context since September) and French increased commitment in Afghanistan have prompted a renewed sense of reactivity within DGA, in particular with the accelerated acquisition process characteristic of the Operational Urgent Requirements. Says Brune Delor in charge of modernization within DGA in the  October issue of Armées d’aujourd’hui: “From the need to protect the soldiers against IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices)  to the management of  the defense side of the government stimulus package, we must be in a position to best adapt to the priorities of the moment“.

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***Posted November 22nd, 2009

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

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