PARIS — Discussions are being held on acquiring the Airbus A400M transport aircraft and a multimission frigate using a prospective leasing company, known as a special purpose vehicle, Army Gen. Pierre de Villiers, chief of the Defense Staff, told journalists Friday.

The government needs to find €2.2 billion (US $2.5 billion) of exceptional receipts to fund the planned procurement, he said. De Villiers declined to say how many air tankers and frigates were in the financing talks.

The annual defense budget is €31.4 billion but the Defense Ministry needs to find exceptional receipts as the Finance Ministry declines to fully fund that total amount. The Defense Ministry has previously considered leases for the frégate multimission (FREMM), or multimission frigate, but the then-Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie decided against that form of acquisition.


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