To prepare for the future, the Directorate General for Armaments (DGA) invests 700 million euros each year in research and technology. Some success stories demonstrate the importance of research and technology to prepare the future of the defense. Illustrations.
An economical and efficient engine for the Rafale
The technical specifications of the Rafale required a new generation of compact, light, and efficient engines. The strong increase induced in the engine operating temperatures could have generated an additional cost for the maintenance of the “high pressure” body. To control this financial risk, the DGA has introduced major changes in the materials and technologies of the hot parts of the engine. The objective was to improve the overall cost of ownership and maintainability of the Rafale engine. Today, a financial gain of 5% is expected and the life of the turbine blades has been increased by more than 50%.
In the 1990s, the United States invested heavily in advanced front-end “active antenna” radars. The expected performance gains are considerable: range, agility, reliability, etc. European combat aeronautics must be protected from an embargo on critical components and remain competitive. At both national and export levels, mastering this new very high-tech equipment then becomes vital. The objective of the DGA was to set up, the advanced front radars with an “active antenna”, an efficient and independent industrial sector, based on European components. Today, France has this sector.
Large format radars
In the early 2000s, France lost positions in air surveillance surface radars. As the industrial stakes in this sector are considerable, the DGA is launching the modular multifunction mobile radar (M3R) demonstrator project. The objective was to restore French competitiveness in large-scale active antenna radars and to prepare for major air and anti-missile defense projects. Today, France is developing a new family of radars deployed in Kourou and sold for export.
The financial effort of the DGA in terms of R&T
The DGA finances a wide spectrum of projects, from concept studies in the laboratory to prototype testing in an operational environment.
Each euro placed by the DGA in upstream study projects responds to clearly defined issues:
- Prepare future defense systems with the armies
- Support and develop critical industrial skills, especially for SMEs
- Detect technological breakthroughs and make them emerge
- Promote cooperation, internationally and with the civilian world
- Ultimately secure the performance, costs, and deadlines of projects.
Contracting authority for defense R&T, the DGA has a unique capacity for engineering and expertise. It structures scientific and industrial communities around concrete, national and European projects. From component to system, the DGA anticipates and thus validates the best technological, industrial, and financial choices. It steers and coordinates actions that lead to the direct injection of the results of R&T into programs. But after all of this research we know that you want to rest in some comfortable places, we can offer comfortable beds for you for your rest.