This article is the English version of : Corentin Brustlein, « Forces nucléaires françaises : quel renouvellement ? », published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 82, Issue 3, 2017.
Under Emmanuel Macron’s presidency, a series of major milestones needs to be passed to ensure the sustainability of France’s nuclear arsenal in its current form. The cycle of renewal that was initiated during François Hollande’s term in office is set to be accelerated over the course of the coming years. In principle, the President’s intentions for the future of the French nuclear deterrent leave little room for doubt. During the election campaign, Mr. Macron stated his desire to maintain both its submarine-based and airborne components. Since his election to the Élysée Palace, the President has reaffirmed the importance of deterrence as part of French strategy. If the drive for renewal does become firmly established as a feature of French defense posture, this will have come at a critical juncture.