14 July 2019: President Macron shows Italians how to do a Military Parade

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

The French national holiday recalls the revolutionary turning point of the 14 July 1789 (for the first time the masses take a leading role in the political struggle), when the citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison.

Celebrated for the first time in the 1880 (which makes it the oldest military parade in the world), this year's Champs Élysées parade represents for France, not only a demonstration of military capabilities, but also a clear desire to hire a role of leadership in the European context of Defense.

4.300 soldiers were paraded around, with 196 vehicles, 64 aircraft and 39 helicopters.

The celebrations were opened by the futuristic FLYBOARD, a flying platform powered by five miniature jet engines (French Defense Minister Florence Parly said it could be a very useful tool for special operations).

So we saw all the vehicles on the Armée de Terre pull out, like the latest version of the MBT LECLERC (the only western wagon with an automatic cannon loading system); VBCI 8x8 infantry fighting vehicles (very similar to our ARROWS); i LMV ARAVIS 4x4; interesting the CAESAR auto-cannons with piece from 155 / 52 (already in the 1995 the Italian Army had modified an ASTRA 8x8 truck assembling a howitzer / cannon FH-70 from 155 / 39, however the experimentation had no following); could not miss the artillery on tracks with the self-propelled F1 GCT (while we keep well hidden the much more modern PzH-2000).

In the sky, RAFALE fighters and A-400M tactical transport aircraft (one of which was German) were seen flying in formation and a Spanish C-130J SUPERHERCULES was also seen; attack helicopters (in France they call them that) TIGER HAP and medium transport NH-90 and COUGAR.

Regardless of the display of vehicles and aircraft - compared to which our June 2 parade seems like a village festival -, there is no doubt that in the intentions of Paris there is a strong desire to take a leading role in the defense sector (and of weapons ) in Europe.

Symptomatic that German Chancellor Merkel, former European Commissioner Junker and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg were present. President Conte absent, engaged in Naples for the closing ceremony of the XXX edition of the Universiade. However, no Italian was present.

To justify this, Paris announced that the invitation to the military parade was reserved only for the countries that adhere to the European Intervention Initiative, strongly desired by Macron and whose Rome is currently excluded.

After the English Brexit, France remains the only nuclear power of the European Union, which obviously - considering also the poor political capacities of the other European partners - wants to assume a leading role of the continent.

Speaking of the English, at the parade there were two CH-47F CHINOOK helicopters of the RAF. It is the news these days that London will extend until the 2020 the permanence of three CHINOOK helicopters in the Sahel, in support of French operations in the region, as Paris has shortcomings regarding heavy helicopters.

Images: Élysée