Paris. 21 June 2022. In 2018, France and Belgium committed to an unprecedented defense cooperation project. The two countries have signed a strategic partnership in the field of defense for maximum long-term interoperability between the French and Belgian armies. Soon, these two countries will have an Army formed on the same model.

(Left) French armaments chief engineer Eric, and (right) Belgian colonel Luc – © C. Hamilcaro / DICOD

The intergovernmental agreement “CaMo” (motorized capacity), which came into force in 2019, allows our Belgian neighbors to mandate France to award equipment acquisition contracts in its name and on its behalf. “ We are going to clone the two armies in order to create combat-ready units without additional preparations. We leave together and we merge in combat ,” says chief armaments engineer Eric, director of the CaMo program at the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA).

The French engineer and his Belgian counterpart, Colonel Luc, deputy to the program director, ensure the conduct of the armament component within this strategic partnership. The first capacity of this cooperation, known as CaMo 1, provides for the acquisition by Belgium of 382 Griffon and 60 Jaguar vehicles, all infovalued, delivered from 2025. On May 13, 2022 – after the signing of the CaMo contract in 2018 -, B elgium and France have signed a second in the field of artillery : “CaMo 2”. The choice fell on the acquisition of nine information-valued Caesar NG systems (Truck Equipped with a New Generation Artillery System).

CaMo is therefore fully in line with the Scorpion program which allows deployed soldiers to exchange information directly or automatically on different terrains and at different hierarchical levels. “Belgium was looking for a partner among its main allies. She wanted an ambitious program in the land ,” explains Chief Armament Engineer Eric.

“CaMo will change the life of the Belgian soldier”

“ This agreement between our two governments shows the excellence of the French Army. This is strong recognition from our Ministry of the Armed Forces: equipment, training, doctrine… We have welcomed Belgium with open arms. For more than ten years, they have seen us in the field and know our way of working perfectly. This cooperation is therefore not negligible for Belgium. “ We had an interest in entering into a partnership. We had to renew our equipment but we lacked human resources ,” says Belgian Colonel Luc.

For this historic cooperation, France was not chosen at random. “ We have made a detailed analysis of our interests and the dangers around us. So we had to find a country that has these same interests with the same cultural, military and political principle. France therefore meets all our criteria , explains Colonel Luc. CaMo will change the life of the Belgian soldier. »

“A very strong political commitment”

This strategic partnership is therefore a winning solution for both countries. “ Thanks to identical brigades, we will be stronger in battle. We will have the same doctrine, the same way of waging war, the same operational level and the same confidence” , assures the director of the CaMo program. To carry out this partnership, the two countries will train and train together. “ For example, Belgian soldiers will be trained at the military school in Bourges. As for Belgium, it will train the French air traffic controllers , specifies the chief engineer of the armament Eric. We hope to organize the first outing of the two countries in 2026. ”

Thanks to this total operational cooperation between the French and Belgian units, the latter will be perfectly interchangeable. A Belgian company can be deployed immediately in a French battalion, without technological or operational obstacles. “ Belgium had the courage to make this choice. It is a very strong political commitment. We hope that other countries will take a close look at this initiative. This Franco-Belgian strategic vision illustrates a conception of European Defense in the Army ,” rejoices Chief Armament Engineer Eric. An opinion shared by his Belgian counterpart: “ Without wanting it directly, we have put this desire to create a Europe of Defense into practice.Every day, this goal becomes a reality. I will be happy to see that CaMo can convince other countries. »