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 Stopover of the Jeanne d’Arc unit in Singapore

The amphibious unit “Jeanne d’Arc 2013”, composed of the Force Projection and Command Ship Tonnerre (BPC Tonnerre) and the Anti-Submarine Frigate Georges Leygues (FASM Georges Leygues), stopped over in Singapore from 13th to 16th June 2013. The programme schedule during the stopover has been intense : conferences on Singapore and maritime security for the cadet officers, a press conference onboard the BPC Tonnerre as well as visits organised for the French community and for students from the French School.

The Jeanne d’Arc 2013 mission commenced in Brest on 6th March 2013. As part of the mission, the Georges Leygues provides escort support to the BPC Tonnerre, which sees its defensive capacity increase, especially against anti-submarine warfare and asymmetric threats. The crew comprises 133 cadet officers, of which 10 are doctors, 11 are officers, 8 are administrators, 18 are foreign cadets and cadet officers of the 2010 cohort of the French Naval Academy. These cadets are on an internship at sea for approximately five months. The mission has been deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Indian Ocean and in the South China Sea. It will start a new phase of the Jeanne d’Arc mission, dedicated to the support of defence equipment export and to the representation of France in foreign countries.

The unit conducted bilateral cooperation activities : the unit completed its participation in the European combat against the Atalante piracy on 12th April 2013. It worked alongside the surveillance frigate Nivôse and the oceanic patrol boat L’Adroit.

For the next stopover of the unit, the BPC Tonnerre will arrive in Vung Tau and the FASM Georges Leygues in Hô-Chi-Minh.

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 Participation of French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the 12th Shangri-La Dialogue

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French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian participated for the second time in the Shangri-La Dialogue, which took place in Singapore, from May 31st to June 2nd 2013. This conference is organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Every year, Ministers of Defence from the Asia-Pacific region gather in order to discuss regional security issues.

France is a maritime power in the Indian and Pacific oceans, where the country possesses territories and where there is a growing number of French citizens. These territories and citizens need protection and security. Asia, specifically the Indian and Pacific oceans, is considered a strategic priority in the new French White Paper on Defence and National Security (2013). Moreover, the security and prosperity of France today depend greatly on security and prosperity in Asia, which has become one of France’s main partners. Financial, commercial and human capital flows between Europe and Asia are constantly increasing. These flows put maritime zones at the heart of international security issues.

France shares many common security interests with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and wants to maintain its contribution to Asia-Pacific security. France also wishes to promote the fight against terrorism, proliferation, cyber threats and the freedom of maritime navigation.

Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian highlighted the ambitions of France in these areas during his speech at the conclusion of the Shangri-La Dialogue, on June 2nd. He introduced the French White Paper on Defence and National Security to his counterparts and he reassured the commitment of France to the construction of a regional security architecture. The main text of his speech is available here: http://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2013-c890/fifth-plenary-session-a1d0/le-drian-cf2f

Finally, Jean-Yves Le Drian held discussions with some of his counterparts during this event (Ministers of Defence of Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, the United Kingdom and Vietnam).

 Official visit of French Chief of Defense staff in Singapore

The French Chief of Defense staff Admiral Édouard Guillaud visited Singapore from May 30th to June 1st 2013.

During this official visit, Admiral Guillaud met the Singaporean Minister of Defense Dr Ng Eng Hen and the Singaporean Chief of Defence Force Major-General Ng Chee Meng, as well as other high-level personalities from the Minsitry of Defence. He visited the Information Fusion Centre and a stealth frigate of the Republic of Singapore Navy at Changi naval base, the Maritime Patrol Squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Special Operations Forces Headquarters.

Admiral Guillaud also attended the 12th IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies) Asia Security Summit (so-called the Shangri-La Dialogue), which took place at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, from May 31st to June 2nd 2013. During this summit, Admiral Guillaud spoke about new technologies and military doctrines and met some of his counterparts who attended this event.

It is Admiral Guillaud’s second visit to Singapore in his current position. Mutual visits and talks between the defense authorities illustrates the breadth of the bilateral military cooperation between the two countries. In the field of defence and security, the City-state is one of the primary partners of France in Asia. The main areas of French-Singaporean military cooperation include the following: training, operational exercises and maritime security. The regular stopovers of French warships in Singapore provide the two sides with opportunities to share experience and interoperability.

 Stop-over of L’Adroit in Singapore

The off-shore patrol vessel L’Adroit has stop-over in Singapore, on May 14th 2013.

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Leaving Toulon (France) on January 14th 2013, L’Adroit started an operational deployment for six months in the Indian Ocean and in the Southeast Asia region. This mission has allowed the warship to take part in counter-piracy missions and in monitoring missions of the French exclusive economic zone in the Indian Ocean. It was also the occasion for the ship to take part in international maritime defenceexhibitions, such as IDEX in Abu Dhabi (February 2013) and IMDEX Asia in Singapore. During the latest exhibition, L’Adroit has been exposed with 14 others warships from all over the world, from May 14th to May 16th 2013.

Built with French defence company DCNS’s own fundings, the off-shore patrol vessel has been made available for the French Navy for three years. On the one hand, the French Navy enjoys an experimental platform to test different onboard systems. On another hand, DCNS can reap the benefits of feedbacks from a first-ranked navy and acquire the “sea-proven” label.

L’Adroit is made of new technologies which prefigure the warships of the future. 87 meters long, 1500 tons of displacement, withan autonomy of three weeks at 21 nautical knots, L’Adroit is armed and its fly deck allows one UAV or one NH-90 helicopter to deck. The autonomy of the warship allows him to be entirely efficient with two crews reduced to 32 sailors, which rotate as the missions go by and give it a high-level availability. Two fast rescue crafts with embarked teams can be launched thanks to the ramps of L’Adroit. All these features allow L’Adroit to accomplish a vast range of missions: maritime police, coast monitoring, counter piracy missions, fight against international maritime trafficand terrorism at sea, conservation of the environment, humanitarian assistance, search and rescue. Mainly dedicated to operate alone, L’Adroit can also be integrated in a naval task force.

Having spent 250 days at sea last year, the next destinations of L’Adroit will be Haiphong (Vietnam), and Jakarta (Indonesia). The ship will be back to Toulon on July 10th 2013.

 IMDEX Asia 2013 - Asia Pacific’s Flagship Maritime Defence Show, May 14th-16th 2013

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The 9th edition of IMDEX Asia has been held at the Changi exhibition Centre, from 14 to 16 May 2013. Dedicated to maritime defence, this exhibition was launched by Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, who declared that this biennial event is a key platform for defence professionals to exchange views and enhance co-operation in the maritime domain.

This year, a record number of 21 Navy chiefs in attendance was attained and the exhibition brought together 61 delegations from 48 countries and 194 exhibitors. Maritime defence representatives from the most innovative industries displayed their latest developments in the fields of maritime defence technologies. High-level conferences were organized to address strategic security and safety issues. A spectacular display of 15 warships from nine countries, including the French patrol vessel, L’Adroit, specially designed for maritime protection missions, was one of the highlights of the exhibition.

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Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen

 CEMA : Admiral Guillaud welcomes his Singaporean counterpart

On 4th September 2012, Admiral Edouard Guillaud, Chief of Staff of the armed forces (CEMA), welcomed his Singaporean counterpart, Lieutenant General, Neo Kian Hong.

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This meeting was an opportunity to address regional and international defence and security issues and to identify new bases of bilateral cooperation. Singapore represents a primary partner to France in Asia in the areas of defence and security.

French-Singaporean military relations are governed by an intergovernmental agreement which came into effect in 2003. It is based on a defence policy dialogue, a defence technology cooperation committee and annual staff talks. These frequent meetings facilitate cross assessments on regional and strategic issues.

The cornerstone of French-Singaporean cooperation is training, including operational training. The regular port of call of French Navy ships enable the sharing of experience and interoperability. The cooperation between both air forces is a structuring part of bilateral relations, which are to expand further. The Singaporean fighter pilot school, located at Cazaux for already 14 years, provides a good illustration. The fight against maritime terrorism and piracy also represent important areas of cooperation which develop steadily.

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Sources : EMA

Rights : Ministry of Defence

 National Day Reception for the defence community in Singapore

The French Ambassador to Singapore, Mr. Olivier Caron, welcomed the defence community at the Residence on 25th July for National Day celebrations. The Chief of Staff of the Singapore Army, General Neo Kian Hong, as well as numerous distinguished guests, were present at this occasion, which attests to the quality and strength of bilateral defence relations.

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 Jean-Yves Le Drian in Singapore for the 11th Shangri-la Dialogue : 1 - 3 June 2012

Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Singapore, from 1 to 3 June 2012 for the 11th edition of the Shangri-La Dialogue. The Minister of Defence spoke on security issues and prospects for French commitment in Asia-Pacific.

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During his visit to Singapore, the Minister for Defence held a discussion with the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore - Pellégrino/ECPAD

The Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, went to Singapore on Friday 1 June 2012, to attend the 11th edition of Shangri-La Dialogue organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a British think tank dedicated to international relations.

Upon his arrival, Jean-Yves Le Drian took part in the opening dinner where he met with Indonesian President, Susilo Yudhoyono Bangbang.

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Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister ofDefence, and Leon Panetta, Secretary of state for Defence from the United States - Roland Pellegrino/ECPAD

Then he attended meetings with representatives from the Singaporean government, including the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as with his counterparts from Australia, India and Korea, and Leon Panetta, Secretary of State for Defence from the United States.

On Sunday, the Minister of Defence spoke to the assembly comprising of different participants at the conference on the role that France aims to play in Asia-Pacific, as an "integral part of our security environment" are terms he used.

"Anything that enhances the security of the Asia-Pacific region contributes to a more stable world, as this region is influential in world affairs and will be more critical in the future. In this situation, South-East Asia plays a key role : its vital sea lanes, are a bridge connecting Asian nations and are a powerful link with the rest of the world" he pointed out.

He added that "prosperity of the Pacific regiondepends partly on the stability of the Indian Ocean. Most conflicts in Asia are now interconnected".

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Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian with his counterpart, the Canadian Defence Minister - Pellégrino/ECPAD

Then he spoke more specifically on the implication of France’s involvement in this region, the "major area of interest," as well as "definite strategic partnerships" that it has developed, specifying that the future White Paper on security and national defence will not fail "to develop this dimension of our defense strategy."

The Minister of Defence also underlined security challenges shared by countries in the region, including the fight against terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and organized crime, maritime security and cybersecurity, as well as cooperation in management of natural disasters, recalling in particular the consequences of deadly tsunamis in this region in 2004 and 2011.

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Discussion with the Australian Minister for Defence, Mr Steven Smith - Pellégrino/ECPAD

Jean-Yves Le Drian said he supported the "institutionalization of a policy of regional cooperation architecture such as ASEAN" (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in which ten Asian states are joined in a political, economic and cultural organization), which can surpass the "bilateral efforts already taken."

The "Shangri-La Dialogue" is an international annual event which brings together Defense Ministers from the Asia-Pacific region, similar to the "Manama Dialogue" in Bahrain, which is organized by the IISS, to bring together Defense Ministers of the Persian-Gulf region.

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The Singaporean Defence Minister at a discussion with Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian - Pellégrino/ECPAD

Singapour Airshow 2012

This aeronautical event takes place every two years since 1981. It has become the most important in Asia and the third most important in the world. Between 14 to 17 February 2012, 40 000 professionals were gathered, including 266 delegations from 80 countries. US31 million dollars’ worth of contracts have been undertaken. French representation was substantial and comprised mainly of :

•Mr. Gérard Longuet, Minister for Defence ;

•Mr. Francis Delon, Secretary General for Defence and National Security ;

•Mr. Michel Miraillet, Director of Strategic Affairs ;

•GAA Jean-Paul Paloméros, Chief of Staff of the Air force ;

•Mr. Yves Blanc, Director of International Development of the DGA ;

•IGA Jean-Pierre Devaux, Director of Strategy of the DGA .

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 The frigate Vendémiaire of the French Navy

This warship of French Pacific Maritime Forces arrives from Port Klang (Malaysia) to perform a routine stop for five days as part of its mission in the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea. He left Noumea, its home port since January, 23.

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This vessel under the leadership of Commander Jean-Christophe Oliéric will leave the Changi Naval Base on Sunday, April 22. It will continue its mission in Southeast Asie until May 18, date of its return to Nouméa.

Dernière modification : 16/07/2013

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