Top 10 of the most powerful weapons of the French army

Top 10 des armes les plus puissantes de l'armée française - PhilTeam

The French are the only ones in Europe to be almost self-sufficient in the production of high quality military vehicles, firearms, ships and planes and weapons. Their products have been exported around the world and starred in several major wars.

In this article, I will document the top 10 weapons used by the French military based on their technology, quality, and success in conflict. I will not go into the technical aspects of any of these systems and this article is intended as a guide to some of the best weapons made and used by the French.

10. Rattlesnake (SAM Mobile System)

French ZRK "Crotale-NG"

Only 2 countries in the world have developed a self-propelled and autonomous SAM system capable of firing radar-guided missiles, France and Russia. The Crotale is a short-range SAM system that can be mounted on a tracked chassis or a 6x6.8x8 wheeled vehicle.

This mobility, combined with 8 containerized missiles, a search and tracking radar, provides French forces with a powerful and easy to deploy air defense capability. One of the biggest advantages of this system is that it is transportable in the C-130, A400M, which allows rapid deployments in hostile regions.

The autonomous nature of this missile system makes it deadly in combat where it can fire its missiles using data received from other sensors and then return to cover.

9. SCALP cruise missile

SCALP-EG - Wikipedia

France is the third country in the world, after the United States and Russia, to develop and deploy long-range land attack cruise missiles on its warships. The Scalp missile is a missile with a range of over 1000 km launched from the A70 VLS and equipped with a 450 kg warhead. 16 Scalp cells equip the FREMM frigates of the French Navy. When this frigate is deployed with a carrier battle group, it forms a very important ground attack platform with its scalp missiles.

The Scalp is flexible and is also designed to be fired from the Rafale and this variant is called Storm Shadow. This allows France to attack hardened shelters, air defense sites and high-value targets hundreds of miles inland. The Rafale can carry 3 Scalp missiles in max configuration.

8. Horizon-class destroyer

Horizon-class frigate

The Horizon program was a joint venture between the UK, France and Italy to develop a next-generation joint air defense destroyer. But after the UK dropped out to pursue its Daring class, France and Italy continued the program and 4 ships resulted. France operates 2 of these powerful destroyers. We talk about frigates, but in terms of movement and armament, they are definitely destroyers and the term frigate is purely political.

Separate equipment for these vessels is their primary EMPAR G-band multifunction AESA radar and their secondary Thales S1850 AESA volume search radar. These ships are equipped with 48 A50 VLS cells for a mix of Aster-15/30 missiles. The range and capabilities of these missiles allow these ships to maintain an air defense bubble with a radius of 150 km around it. 

These ships are part of the French carrier group and provide the main air defense. They also have surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. 8 Exocet anti-ship missiles are carried behind the superstructure in inclined box launchers. 

4 torpedo tubes and an ASW helicopter form a powerful defense against submarines. The gun armament consists of 2 x 76mm super fast cannons that can be used against air and surface targets and 2×20mm cannons.

These high-performance destroyers are few in number and only one will be available for deployment at any given time. But they will form the most important component of French naval operations.

7. Mistral class (LHD)

Diksmuide (L9015) - Wikipedia

It is a new generation LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock) of the French Navy which gives it a very powerful capacity for amphibious assault, troop transport and humanitarian relief. It is 200m long and displaces 21,000 tons. It has a capacity to carry 16 medium helicopters (NH-90 size) in a standard deployment although this number can be increased to 24 using a light/medium helicopter mix or 35 light helicopters. This large helicopter carrying capacity allows it to act as a flagship for ASW missions. 

It has a huge cargo bay which is used to transport tanks, armored personnel carriers, trucks and howitzers. About 800 men can be embarked and ship-to-shore transport is provided by LCMs (Landing Craft Mechanized) and AAVs (Amphibious Assault Vehicles).

The self-defense of such a large warship carrying a huge amount of troops, helicopters and military vehicles is very important. But it is somewhat lacking in this category (compared to the heavy defenses of USN LHDs). It carries 2 30 mm cannons for defense against small surface threats and 2 Simbad launchers carrying 2 IR-guided “mistral” SAMs with a 4 km range.

During the recent Libyan conflict, this ship proved its usefulness and versatility when it based several attack and transport helicopters. Attack helicopters were used to perform precision attacks with ease as they were forward deployed on this safe carrier.

Its reputation was strengthened when Russia, a country that still builds its own warships, ordered 2 Mistral LHDs. It also has very good export prospects with other countries. India could become its biggest customer if Mistral manages to win the tender for 4 LHDs.

6. Charles de Gaulle (aircraft carrier)

Major technical shutdown: The aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has been refloated - Defens'Aero

The Charles de Gaulle has the distinction of being the only nuclear-powered aircraft carrier outside the US Navy. It may not be the largest aircraft carrier in the world at 250m and 40,000 tons, but it is the most powerful aircraft carrier in its class. 

It embarks a mixed air wing made up of Rafale-M and Super Etendard fighters, E-2 Airborne Early Warning planes, NH90, Gazelle and Puma helicopters which allow it to project its power hundreds of kilometers around it, thousands of kilometers from French soil. 

In fact, it is the only European carrier that has participated in NATO operations for a few years, because other European countries lack a credible transport force and it will continue to do so for decades.

5. Leclerc (main battle tank)

Char Leclerc: fatal wall fall for technological gem!

The Leclerc is an ultra-expensive, well-armed, high-tech tank manufactured by AMX for the French army. This formidable tank is equipped with a 120 mm main gun with 46 rounds, a coaxial 12.7 mm gun with 1100 rounds and a 7.62 mm gun with 3000 rounds. This powerful set of weapons is packed into a tank that is very well protected against modern threats. Leclerc's initial batch has a welded steel hull with modular armor. 

The latest batch has composite armor with titanium plate inserts and explosive reactive armor (ERA) blocks along the sides. This ensures protection against hollow charge and sabot anti-tank ammunition. It has an 8-cylinder diesel engine which facilitates maintenance and reduces running costs compared to a gas turbine engine. Since its introduction after 1992, it has yet to experience a major conflict.

4. FAMAS Feline

France is looking for a successor to its FAMAS assault rifle - RP Defense

The FAMAS is a 5.56mm assault rifle of bullpup design that entered service with the French in the 1980s. It is the improved and modernized version of the humble FAMAS rifle to integrate it into the FELIN combat system of the French troops. Improvements include a front grip for better weapon handling, a new day/night optical sight, thermal sights, radio, integrated video camera and indirect aiming function. 

The most dramatic improvement is the indirect fire mode which allows targets that are not in line of sight to be engaged while the soldier takes cover. The photos below illustrate exactly how the new indirect fire mode will benefit troops and allow them to retaliate if attacked. According to reports, all infantry units of the French army have now switched to this new weapon.

3. Aster 15/30 (Surface-to-air missile)

Mid-life pyrotechnic re-engining of Italian and British ASTER missiles - Theatrum Belli

The Aster is the result of a joint Franco-Italian requirement for a next-generation surface-to-air missile for their navy that could later be modified into a land-based variant. The result of the project was the Aster-15 and Aster-30 missiles. The unique feature is that these two missiles are technically identical and have the same terminal dart. The only difference is the size of the booster which decides the range and speed of these missiles.

The Aster-15 is said to have a speed of Mach 3 and a range of over 35 km. the Aster-30 is said to have a range of over 120 km and a speed of Mach-4.5. Both of these missiles are launched vertically from the A50 vertical launch system which is present on all modern French warships. These missiles are capable of intercepting supersonic targets maneuvering at sea level.

This missile enjoyed spectacular export success, with the British being its largest and most important customer. They purchased several hundred Aster-15/30 missiles to equip the 48 cells of each of their 6 Daring-class destroyers. The British claim that they have the best air defense ship in the world, which further underlines their confidence in the capabilities of the Aster missile.

2. Dassault Rafale

This beauty is touted by the French as an omnirole fighter and can easily perform air superiority and precision strike roles. It has an excellent delta wing design with canards and continues the legacy of the old Mirage 2000.

Its sensors include an AESA radar, optronics, ESM and a spectacular electronic warfare suite in the Spectra that would be capable of defeating most modern air defenses. radar systems. It has 12 hardpoints capable of carrying a range of air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, guided bombs, anti-ship missiles and the ASMP nuclear missile. 

This makes it a very powerful multirole fighter that can perform a wide variety of missions. It enjoyed success in the recent conflict against Libya where French Navy Rafale M aircraft operating from Charles de Gaulle flew hundreds of successful sorties. 

The presence of air force and navy variants further shows the versatility of this fighter. Unfortunately, for lack of political weight, France had not been able to obtain an export contract until recently. Egypt has placed an order for 24 Rafale. India could very well be the biggest customer of this beautiful jet if the agreement is signed.

1. Exocet (anti-ship missile)

Why a new Franco-British missile is in sight

Who can forget the one missile that chipped American and British pride? This missile has a range of 40 to 180 km depending on the variant and flies just above sea level at speeds of 0.8 Mach.

The Exocet succeeded in exposing gaps in the defenses of the United States and the Royal Navy and proved to the world that a small, relatively inexpensive missile to obtain can be fired from land and air to disable ships. expensive modern warfare. The impact of this missile was such that the Russians began to work on the development of a small missile with similar performance.

Currently, upgraded variants of this missile are in frontline service around the world. It can now be launched from ships, fighter jets, submarines, helicopters and land truck launchers. This makes it easy to conceal and very flexible. The Mirage and Rafale as well as the Atlantique, were fitted with the Exocet for use in the maritime strike role.

Recently the Puma Helicopter was being integrated with the Full Range Helicopter Launch variant which will allow it to carry 2 missiles.

8 Exocets each equip Horizon, Lafayette and Fremm class warships. Rubis, Scorpène and Agosta class submarines can deploy the Exocet underwater variant from their torpedo tubes. Having a stellar combat record and being extremely flexible and deadly, it is definitely the number 1 spot in the list of the top 10 French weapons.


  • papi on

    Bien parlé Abraxas !
    Après il faut voir de qui cela vient, vu le niveau d’orthographe et surtout de vocabulaire, son message est a jeter aux chiottes.

  • Abraxas on

    Dis moi, Popo l’Algerien, tu te chies dessus, et tout seul en plus, non? Hormis tes invectives qui illustrent le néant de tes contre- arguments, tu descends par la même tout seul dans les caniveaux. Qu’as tu à proposer? Il est vrai que l armée algérienne et réputée mondialement pour sa force et sa puissance…. A part se fournir en matériel militaire d’occasion qu’ as tu à proposer? Vos lance-pierres? Et si la France te fait cracher ton venin, au lieu de profiter grassement des minima sociaux qu’elle te prodigue, retourne dans ton bled merdique et reste-y! S’il te plaît, rends-nous service…

  • MENGIN on

    Belles armes, mais avant qu’il y ait combat, on ne peut pas juger de leur efficacité (voyez l’Ukraine) !

  • Popo on

    Nulle je trouve sa trop maigres trop nulle de la merde il manque quelque chose je ne sais pas sa pue le monsonge tousa je ne crois pas a cette merde la pourrie . Vive Algérie . Les homme . Pas les omelette je renie la France . Madame la France . Paris Berlin aucune balle madame la.france

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