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France Boosts Military Support for Ukraine, Expands Arms Manufacturing

France has announced plans to increase the production and delivery of military equipment, including the Caesar artillery system, to Ukraine as part of its ongoing support for the country in the face of Russia’s invasion.

Balancing Needs

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This decision comes as France seeks to avoid depleting its own military stocks while bolstering Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

French Defense Minister’s Statement

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French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu emphasized the need for direct collaboration between French defense industries and the Ukrainian army to ensure a sustained flow of military aid.

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Expanding Caesar Artillery System Deliveries

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France is set to deliver more Caesar self-propelled 155 mm howitzers to Ukraine, with a goal of providing 78 units this year. Ukraine has already purchased six of these howitzers, and France will contribute 50 million euros (approximately $54 million) to supply an additional 12.

Support From Remaining Allies

To cover the remaining 60 units, France is seeking 280 million euros (about $305 million) from other allies of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Artillery Needs

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Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov highlighted the urgent need for stronger artillery as Russian forces have been firing significantly more artillery shells than Ukrainian forces along the front lines. The shortage of ammunition poses a pressing challenge for Ukraine’s defense.

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Increased Supply of Artillery Shells

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To address the shortage of ammunition, France plans to significantly increase the supply of shells for 155 mm guns to Ukraine.

Additional Shells

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Starting this month, France will provide 3,000 shells per month, up from 1,000 shells per month at the beginning of the conflict and 2,000 per month since last April.

Efficiency in Weapons Production

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French manufacturers have streamlined their production processes to meet the heightened demand for military hardware. For example, Nexter now takes half the time, 15 months less, to produce one Caesar artillery system.

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Significant Improvements

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Thales has reduced its delivery time for GM200 radars, essential for air defenses, from 18 months to just six months. MBDA has also significantly shortened its production time for Mistral short-range air-defense missiles.

France’s Ongoing Support for Ukraine

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Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, France was among the countries that promptly provided military aid to Ukraine.

Billions of Euros

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This assistance included Caesars, light tanks, cruise missiles, air defense systems, and other military equipment, as well as training and support. The total value of French aid to Ukraine is estimated to be in the billions of euros.

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Improvements to Caesar Artillery Systems

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Based on feedback from the battlefield, the Caesar artillery systems supplied to Ukraine are being enhanced to improve their targeting capabilities against Russian tanks.

Continued Support from France

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French President Emmanuel Macron recently announced plans to supply additional long-range Storm Shadow missiles and hundreds of bombs to Ukraine.

Macron To Visit Ukraine

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He also expressed his intention to visit Ukraine once again in the coming month, emphasizing the need to prevent Russia from achieving its objectives.

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Addressing Concerns About Depletion

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France and other supporters of Ukraine are mindful of depleting their own defenses while providing ongoing support to Ukraine.

Sustained Military Aid

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They are exploring alternative ways to ensure a sustained supply of military aid to Kyiv as Russia prepares for a protracted conflict.

The Importance of Endurance

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Minister Lecornu stressed the significance of endurance in military aid to Ukraine during this phase of the war.

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Monitoring by Moscow and Others

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Lecornu highlighted that Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other nations are closely monitoring the actions and commitment of Ukraine’s partners, particularly their ability to endure and remain reliable sources of support in the face of the ongoing conflict.

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