France sends more artillery to Ukraine

France’s Defense Minister Sébastien Lecorne said on Tuesday that more 12 Caesar truck-mounted howitzers and fresh air defense equipment would be shipped to Ukraine to step up its fight against Russian aggressors.

In addition to the 18 cannons already delivered, the artillery will be funded from a €200 million ($217 million) pot set by France to fund weapons in Kiev, Les Cornes said in Paris. said at a press conference with Ukrainian Oleksiy Reznikov.

The move comes as France has yet to commit to sending Leclerc main battle tanks to Ukraine, spending several weeks supplying Leopard 2s to Berlin and encouraging allies to re-export German-made tanks. After pressure to allow it.

Caesar, along with other Western mobile artillery such as the German Panzerhaubice 2000, last year helped Ukraine hit targets deep in Russian lines and undermine Moscow’s offensive. Rated.

The truck-mounted 155 mm gun can fire a high-precision salvo at a range of up to 40 km (25 miles), allowing the enemy to locate and reposition before it can counterattack.

Lecornu said a new batch of howitzers was due to be delivered “in the coming weeks” and was originally ordered from Copenhagen.

Denmark also pledged to commit its entire existing fleet of 19 powerful French howitzers to the Ukrainian war effort.

“We have now reached a mass[of Caesar’s artillery]that cannot be overlooked,” Lecorne said.

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Paris will also provide Kiev with a Ground Master 200 radar capable of detecting enemy aircraft, including low-flying drones, at a range of 250 kilometers.

Radars can also detect rockets and artillery fire and alert friendly troops.

France is also working “with its allies” to provide more missiles to the Crotale surface-to-air defense system, Lecorne said.

Crotale operates in about 15 countries, including Greece, Finland and South Korea.

“Crotales destroys 100% of its targets, so blocking the airspace over Ukraine is very important,” Reznikov said.

Finally, Lecornu said 150 French troops would be sent to Poland to train Ukrainian soldiers.

Reznikov said he did not want a fighter like the widely exported Mirage series from France.

But “tactical aviation is a building block of air defense” and “must be strengthened,” he added.

By early December, France was Ukraine’s seventh-largest supporter since the war broke out, according to data on military and financial aid compiled by the Germany-based Institute for the World Economy think tank.

That ranking didn’t take into account last month’s major military equipment announcements in Kiev, including the AMX-10 RC light tank, and the promise of the German Leopard 2.

But European donors are well short of US military aid commitments. France sends more artillery to Ukraine

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