Since the end of May, the helicopter carrier Tonnerre has joined the device deployed off the coast of Libya. Photo credits: ARNAUD ROINE / AFP
The French operations against the forces of Colonel Gaddafi, which lasted for three months, representing a premium of approximately one million euros per day for the French army.
According to Admiral Edouard Guillaud, Chief of Defence Staff, the additional cost for France three months of war in Libya amounts exactly to 160 million euros, a figure validated by the budget minister Valérie Pécresse. Less precise, the Defence Minister Gerard Longuet was content to recognize a “magnitude” of around 100 million euros. An estimate obtained on the basis of one million euros per day for an operation that began March 19.
This amount is the incremental cost, not the net cost, that is to say that it only includes spending by the military outside of its routine expenses. For example, the wages of the soldiers is not taken into account, only the bonus paid to them during overseas operations. About 4,000 French soldiers are involved in the operation. Total premiums amounted to the time at 27 million euros.
70 million ammunition
The item of expenditure the most important by far is ammunition. Scalp missile accuracy is for example about 500,000 euros. In all, 70 million of munitions have already been spent. To this must be added the wear and tear, more difficult to estimate. The Navy is engaged in the front line, with a dozen buildings deployed off the Libyan coast, including the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and the helicopter carrier Tonnerre . In the air, Paris has implemented thirty fighters as well as radar and refueling planes and a dozen helicopter gunships since late May Excluding the cost per flight hour (40,000 euros for a Rafale), take into account the increased need for maintenance due to the many trips made (over 200 a week since Charles de Gaulle ).
The budget minister Valérie Pécresse ensures that the country “can absorb” this effort, it relates to 40 billion euros from the defense budget. Still, the 160 million already spent in Libya are almost 25% of the annual foreign operations (Opex), voted in the fall of 2010 (630 million). An envelope that does not fund the operations in Libya but also those carried out in Afghanistan and Ivory Coast . In case of exceeding this budget, it will be up to the government to put its hand in the pocket, and not just the Department of National Defence, Opex is considered “government action,” said Gerard Longuet. For this, the government may need to ask Parliament to vote new money.
Besides France, the two main contributors to the international coalition in Libya are the United Kingdom and the United States . In London, the bill for operations by the Royal Air Force and Navy to date amounts to approximately 120 million pounds (136 million). The Americans for their estimated expenses to June 3 at about $ 715 million, or about 500 million euros.