France saw a 123% jump in equipment orders last year over 2008 levels, with total bookings at €19.3 billion ($26.4 billion), says Laurent Collet-Billon, head of the French armaments agency DGA. EADS was the largest beneficiary, with shipyard DCNS next, followed by Thales. R esearch spending saw a 27% boost. Defense exports also increased by 21% to €7.95 billion, although an export sale of Rafales remains elusive.

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