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Thursday, April 25, 2024

France To Send Old Armored Vehicles, New Missiles To Ukraine

Ukrainian service members ride a BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle an empty street, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the frontline city of Bakhmut, Ukraine February 27, 2023. (photo credit: REUTERS/YEVHEN TITOV) via TJP

French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu has said on Sunday that France will deliver hundreds of old armored vehicles and new surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine in its war against Russia.

In an interview with La Tribune Dimanche, Lecornu said that President Emmanuel Macron, following talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, had asked him to prepare a new aid package, including old but still functional French equipment.

“The Ukrainian army needs to defend a very long front line, which requires armored vehicles; this is absolutely crucial for troop mobility and is part of the Ukrainian requests,” he said.

He said France looked to provide hundreds of VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé) front-line troop carriers in 2024 and early 2025.

Read Also: Ukraine’s President Sacks Commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi

According to Jerusalem Post, France’s Army is gradually replacing its thousands of VABs, which first went into operation in the late 1970s, with a new multi-role troop carrier.

Lecornu added that France was also preparing to release a new batch of Aster 30 surface-to-air missiles for the SAMP/T system provided to Kyiv.

The Aster 30 can intercept warplanes, drones and cruise missiles within a range of 120 km.

“Ukraine has an urgent need for better ground-air defense … Russia is intensifying its strikes, in particular on civilians and civil infrastructure,” he said.

Lecornu said he had asked government defense procurement agency DGA (Direction Generale de l’Armement) to make proposals to accelerate production of Aster missiles, manufactured by European group MBDA.

Aster missiles are also being used in the Red Sea, where French frigates defend maritime traffic against attacks from Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, he said.

Lecornu said last week a decree was published giving the ministry powers to impose stock levels and prioritize contracts.

France is also speeding up the development of remotely operated ammunition for delivery to Ukraine as early as this summer, Lecornu said.

Macron last month suggested the possibility of European nations sending troops to Ukraine, although he cautioned that there was no consensus as allies agreed to ramp up efforts to deliver more munitions to Kyiv. – TJP

Source: TJP

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