Direction générale de l'armement

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The Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), which can be translated with “General Directorate for Armament”, is the French Government Defense procurement agency responsible for the program management, development and purchase of weapon systems for the French military.[1]

Armament programs coordination[edit]

The DGA coordinates the armament programs with industry in France, within Europe, but also with customers for export. Together with the Europe of Defence organization, the DGA promotes the development of armament programmes in co-operation and contributes to the development of the European Defence Agency. Fifteen cooperative armament programmes are under way. The OCCAr (Joint Organisation of Co-operation as regards Armament) ensures the control of six programmes intended to equip the French force, inter allia: combat Tiger helicopter, ground-to-air missiles short Roland/Frole range, Cobra counter-battery radar, family of ground-to-air systems future (FSAF), A400M military transport aircraft, PAAMS anti-aircraft system.

Other activities[edit]

Testing and expertise[edit]

The DGA also undertakes the testing and assessment of equipments and military technologies. Test centres are distributed across France to carry out studies in advanced technologies, in aeronautics and missiles (the flight test centre bases of Istres, Bretigny, Cazaux and Toulouse, Centre of Tests of Launching of Missiles Biscarosse site, island of raising and Gâvres, and the centre of expertise LRBA in Vernon), electronics, data processing and information system security (CELAr in Rennes, and CTSN in Toulon). These services contribute to the validation of industrial equipments, but also to the proving of military systems for the programme directorates. Since 2004 DGA is organized into two subdirectorates for the coordination of programs dealing respectively with the inter-systems technical approach (Service of architecture inter-systems) and with technological developments (responsible for domains).

List of délégués généraux pour l'armement[edit]

The list of successive Heads of the DGA, whether they are from the Corps de l'armement, from the Corps des mines or from the French Armed Forces, whether they are more technology-oriented or "cost-cutting"-oriented, whether they originate from the DGA itself or from outside, gives an idea of the evolution of the institution.

Michel Fourquet, général d'armée aérienne, X33 Delpech
Henri Martre 1977-1983
Emile Blanc
Yves Sillard 1989-1993
Jean-Yves Helmer
Yves Gleizes
François Lureau
Laurent Collet-Billon

Engineering schools[edit]

In addition, DGA supervises engineering schools that operate under the scrutiny of the Ministry of defence (École polytechnique, ENSTA ParisTech, Supaéro, ENSTA Bretagne, ENSICA). The high-level military staff of DGA, the Corps of Armament whose memberts are the ingénieurs de l'armement (IA, literally, “Armament Engineers”), are commissioned officers, who are generally graduates of the École polytechnique, then the ENSTA or Supaéro. The main part of the engineers, the ingénieurs des études et techniques d'armement (IETA, literally, "weaponry studies and technics engineers") are graduates of the ENSIETA or ENSICA.

Naval building[edit]

The DGA also formerly had a division for building warships, the Direction des constructions navales (“Directorate of Naval Construction”), now formed into a partly state-owned corporation, DCNS.

Ranks within the Corps de l'armement[edit]

Officers of the Corps de l'armement have a unique rank structure.

  • Ingénieur, (1er échelon) ("Engineer", first level, equivalent to a Sous-lieutenant)
  • Ingénieur, (2e et 3e échelon) ("Engineer", second and third level, equivalent to a Lieutenant)
  • Ingénieur, (4e au 9e échelon) ("Engineer", from fourth to ninth level, equivalent to a Capitaine)
  • Ingénieur principal ("Lead Engineer", equivalent to a Commandant)
  • Ingénieur en chef ("Chief Engineer" equivalent to a Lieutenant-Colonel before serving two years in this rank)
  • Ingénieur en chef ("Chief Engineer" equivalent to a Colonel after serving two or more years in this rank)
  • Ingénieur général de 2e classe ("Engineer-General, Second Class", equivalent to a Général de brigade)
  • Ingénieur général de 1er classe ("Engineer-General, First Class", equivalent to a Général de division)
  • Ingénieur général hors classe ("Engineer-General Beyond Class", equivalent to a Général de corps d'armée). There are at least three (one for each service branch) but usually others are appointed to run the main divisions within the DGA.
  • Ingénieur général de classe exceptionnelle ("Engineer-General, Exceptional Class", equivalent to a Général d'armée). There is usually only one: the titular Délégué Général pour l'Armement (the head of DGA).

Officers of the Corps des ingénieurs des études et techniques de l'armement have also a unique rank structure.

  • Ingénieur, (1er échelon) ("Engineer", first level, equivalent to a Sous-lieutenant)
  • Ingénieur, (2e au 5e échelon) ("Engineer", from second to fifth level, equivalent to a Lieutenant)
  • Ingénieur, (6e au 10e échelon) ("Engineer", from sixth to tenth level, equivalent to a Capitaine)
  • Ingénieur principal ("Lead Engineer", equivalent to a Commandant)
  • Ingénieur en chef de 2e classe ("Chief Engineer, Second Class" equivalent to a Lieutenant-Colonel)
  • Ingénieur en chef de 1er classe ("Chief Engineer, First Class" equivalent to a Colonel)
  • Ingénieur général de 2e classe ("Engineer-General, Second Class", equivalent to a Général de brigade)
  • Ingénieur général de 1er classe ("Engineer-General, First Class", equivalent to a Général de division)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ (Nuclear warheads and nuclear submarine power plants are designed by the division of military applications of the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (CEA)).

See also[edit]

  • AGATE, the architecture framework promoted by the DGA

External links[edit]