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French legislators are making the case their country needs to step up its activities in the domain of missile defense. But the argument is as much about technical competence as it is about concerns over ballistic missile defense threats to the country. In particular, French officials worry that if Europe buys into the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach to extend missile defenses across Europe, the program will suck up lots European research funding without yielding benefits to the local industrial base. The legislators warn U.S. missile defense could become a Trojan Horse, and indicate they see the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in that vein, too.The Senators also argue that the main obstacle for Europe getting serious on missile defense is not money, it is the political will to do anything. That said, money is not entirely secondary. The missile defense report out in France indicates more than 7 billion euros would be needed this decade to fund a serious push to enhance endo- and exo-atmospheric defenses, along with the necessary sensors and command and control infrastructure.
ar99, JSF, MissileDefense
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