France to provide armored vehicles, missiles to Ukraine

France’s defense minister said Paris would deliver “hundreds” of armored personnel carriers and anti-aircraft missiles as part a new aid package to Ukraine in its war against Russian invaders.

“To hold such as extensive front line, the Ukrainian army needs for example our VAB vehicles: it’s absolutely essential for troop mobility,” Sebastien Lecornu told La Tribune newspaper in an interview published late Saturday.

France is currently phasing out its VAB fleet — some of them more than 40 years old — with new Griffon armored vehicles, but Lecornu said the older models were “still operational.”

“We’re talking about hundreds of them for 2024 and early 2025,” he said.

Paris will also supply more Aster 30 anti-aircraft missiles for SAMP/T launchers, similar to the US-supplied Patriot air defense systems.

“We are also developing remotely operated munitions in a very short timeframe, to deliver them to Ukraine starting this summer,” Lecornu added.

The French government is pushing defense companies to ramp up production to meet the needs of its own army and to ensure continued support to Ukraine after more than two years of war with Russia.

Kyiv has warned its stocks of munitions are running low, urging in particular Washington to end a political standoff that has frozen a new $60 billion aid package.

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