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    EU Lawmaker Calls French Defense Technology Overly Dependent on US Drones

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    Member of the European Parliament from the French National Front party Aymeric Chauprade said that the choice of American products has a negative impact on French independence in the sphere of defense technologies.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – France runs the risk of becoming overly dependent on foreign-made drones, such as Israel's Heron or the American Predator, Aymeric Chauprade, member of the European Parliament from the French National Front party, has told Sputnik.

    "The choice of American products has a negative impact on our independence in the sphere of defense technologies," Chauprade said Thursday, explaining that France does not produce the necessary amount of drones and part of its needs are covered by foreign-made unmanned aircraft.

    According to the lawmaker, France is blocking domestic production opportunities in the sphere by concluding drone deals with the United States.

    "This is true not only for France, but for the entire Europe. Unfortunately, American Reapers are already being used in the United Kingdom, Italy, now in France, and tomorrow they will be in Germany. We see once again that this European club will be painted in the colors of the American flag," Chauprade said.

    The lawmaker stressed that the purchases are concluded too hurriedly, the drones are not adapted to the French standards, particularly those dealing with data encryption, and Americans dictate their own conditions for the use of their unmanned aerial vehicles.

    "We need to ask their permission every time, before we use them [drones] in a given operation. This also concerns launches: the technical equipment on the ground is also American for the most part," Chauprade explained.

    "There is a major problem of independence and France needs to develop its own systems, but it is too late to do that, because no relevant decisions were made," the lawmaker told Sputnik.

    According to Chauprade, French President Francois Hollande is one of the most ardent supporters of the expansion of Europe's defense industry.

    Drones, or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), have been gaining wider use in military and civilian applications in recent years. UAVs function autonomously and are controlled by pilots from the ground.

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