GLOSSARY 

DGA - Direction générale de l'Armement

A French Defence Ministry directorate. It has three principal missions: to equip the French armed forces by developing, buying, evaluating and testing military equipment in partnership with industry; to prepare the future by ensuring technologies and know-how remain up-to-date; and to promote French defence industry exports.

École Polytechnique

For those of you unfamiliar with the French education system, the École Polytechnique is the most prestigious engineering school in the country, a sort of MIT/Stanford rolled into one, with the specificity that it is a military school so the students are paid as young officers, wear a uniform and are expected to work for the state for at least 10 years after graduation. Following the three-year course, all students go onto further studies to a "school of application" i.e. a professional higher education engineering school to specialise in aerospace, telecoms, electricity etc.