DefenseNews : French Navy bets on electronic warfare to counter anti-ship threats By Vivienne Machi

French Navy soldiers sail on a speedboat next to the French ship La Fayette in October 2020. (Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images)

TOULON, France — With 2,000 miles of direct coastline and more than a dozen overseas territories, France’s naval vessels maintain a continuous presence in multiple maritime zones — from the North Sea to the Caribbean, and from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific/TOULON, France – Avec 2 000 milles de côtes directes et plus d’une douzaine de territoires d’outre-mer, les navires de la marine française maintiennent une présence continue dans de multiples zones maritimes – de la mer du Nord aux Caraïbes et de l’océan Indien au Pacifique.

France has one of Europe’s only truly global blue-water navies — alongside the United Kingdom — and must protect its fleet against threats nearby and those launching from afar. Anti-ship missile technology is becoming more diverse and sophisticated, and countries like China and Russia are developing weapons that can launch from longer ranges, from ship or shore, and at supersonic or even hypersonic speeds/La France possède l’une des seules marines véritablement mondiales d’Europe – aux côtés du Royaume-Uni – et doit protéger sa flotte contre les menaces proches et celles lancées de loin. La technologie des missiles anti-navires devient de plus en plus diversifiée et sophistiquée, et des pays comme la Chine et la Russie développent des armes qui peuvent être lancées à des distances plus longues, depuis un navire ou à terre, et à des vitesses supersoniques, voire hypersoniques.

The French Navy is looking to new generations of electronic warfare capabilities to strengthen the defense of its ships. Paired with the vessels’ kinetic weaponry, this approach is meant to create a multilayered defense against emerging threats, officials and analysts said.

The service’s investments in electronic warfare capabilities for ship protection are “numerous” and “increasing,” said Jeremy Bachelier, a commander in the French Navy with over two decades of experience, and a military fellow at the French Institute of International Relations.

“For any navy with deep-sea and global ambitions like the French Navy, it’s obvious that active and passive protection is part of the baseline necessary and essential for any deployment,” he added. READ MORE