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France augments SOF capabilities

16th April 2021 - 09:37 GMT | by Jean-Marc Tanguy in Paris


The MV850 quad vehicle (right) from Polaris is being tested by French airborne SOF and has been used in Western Africa. (Photo: Jean-Marc Tanguy)

French SOF chiefs recognised a need to refresh equipment for operations on land, at sea and in the air.

Recent procurement efforts for French Special Operations Command (COS) reflect a need to enhance ISR, weaponry and non-kinetic effectors.

COS has 4,500 operators (around 500 overseas), but each original component (the Army, the Navy and the Air and Space Force) is responsible for buying equipment and training SOF.

In terms of procurement, the 1st Marine Parachute Regiment (1er RPIMa) in the French Army recently modernised its sniper weaponry with the deployment of several dozen Cadex CDX-40 Shadow .408cal rifles in Iraq and Syria.

The CDX-40 weighs significantly less than legacy .50cal rifles (the FR-12.7 Hécate made by PGM and the Barrett …

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