France: what to expect for the National Day 2018 parade

The French National Day will take place in Paris on Saturday 14th July. The rehearsal for the ground troops is taking place on the former air base of Brétigny, near Paris, on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 July.

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An SDTI tactical UAV, the French army's name for the Sagem Sperwer.

This 2018 edition will involve different components. 64 aircraft will open the parade: 53 of the air force (Armée de l’Air), 6 of the Navy (Marine nationale), 2 of the civilian security (Sécurité civile), and 3 foreign ones (Singapore, Belgium and Germany). On the ground, they will be followed by 4,290 men and women of the ground forces will parade, followed by 220 vehicles of various units, including 62 motorbikes. 250 mounted troops will parade (on horses). Among the 30 helicopters that will overfly the scene, 18 belong the ALAT (Army aviation), 5 to the air force, 2 to the navy, 3 to the Gendarmerie nationale and 2 to the sécurité civile.

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French army VHM, Véhicule à Haute Mobilité (High-Mobility Vehicle), based on the Bandvagn 210 Mk.II tracked vehicle.

Actually, the following units on foot will be represented in the parade: militaty schools, 27th Bataillon de Chasseurs alpins, 93rd régiment d’Artillerie de Montagne, 4th regiment de Chasseurs, 1st regiment de Spahis, 2nd régiment de Dragons, 121st regiment du Train, Centre d’instruction élémentaire de conduite, regiment du Service militaire adapté de Mayotte, brigade des Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris, Légion étrangère (French Foreign Legion). Other units – the « troupes à l’honneur » - will also be represented. As a foreign participation “à l’honneur”, a Japanese detachment will also parade for the first time in History.

The motorised parade will involve the 1st Division the 152nd regiment d’Infanterie, the 5th Régiment de Dragons, the 3rd regiment d’Artillerie de Marine, the 2nd Régiment Etranger de Génie (Foreign Légion), the 53rd regiment de Transmissions, the 61st regiment d’Artillerie, the 4th regiment du Matériel, the Commandement de l’entraînement et des écoles du combat interarmes, and the brigade des Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris. Four Piranha VBCIs of the Belgian “Chasseurs Ardennais” battalion will also parade, in connection with the French 152nd Infantry Regiment.

A few “newcomers” among the vehicles operated by the French army will parade for the first time, namely the Arquus (ex-Renault Trucks Defense) Sherpa with flat bed of the air force.

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AMX Leclerc main battle tanks of the 5th Régiment de Dragons.

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The French army's Peugeot P4 light tactical vehicle will be replaced by the VT4 platform currently produced by Arquus (ex-Renault Trucks Defense)