Crotale air defense system and LRU MLRS – French Minister of Defense spoke about assistance to Ukraine
Sébastien Lecornu, French Minister of Defense, said that the country handed over two battalions worth of the Crotale air defense system and two units of the MLRS LRU to the Ukrainian forces. He shared this in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche.
He stressed that France is one of the five countries providing Ukraine with the most assistance, in particular at the expense of the European Peace Fund. Through this platform, weapons transferred from other countries are also compensated. France has invested EUR 550 million in this fund. The total amount of resources accumulated in the fund now comes up to EUR 3 billion.
Lecornu stressed that the military assistance that Ukraine receives is provided with consideration of its requests. In addition, France has relied on the supply of modern weapons, as it works more efficiently as opposed to equipment that had been stored in warehouses for years.
When asked by journalists about the transfer of air defense systems to Ukraine, Sébastien Lecornu replied: “Yes, two battalions of Crotale missiles. But we are also studying the Ukrainian requests for radars, as the strike detection is critical,” he said.
He also added that France will deliver two LRU MLRS (French version of MLRS M270 – ed.) to Ukraine. This MLRS, like the MARS II, is a European version of the M270A1. The launchers are equipped with the European Fire Control System (EFCS) developed by Airbus Defense and Space.
Lecornu also noted that the French parliament voted in favor of the Support Fund, through which the Ukrainian side could directly apply for the help that is needed first. This could include armored vehicles, engineering equipment, or maintenance of existing weapons.
“I take this opportunity to reach out to our innovative small and medium-sized enterprises who can apply for participation in this fund to offer Ukrainians solutions for their needs,” said Lecornu.
France is also actively involved in training the Ukrainian military. 400 Ukrainian servicemen were already trained to use the equipment transferred to Ukraine.
Lecornu added that France plans to train 2,000 troops through the European training mission EUMAM Ukraine.
“We train not only to use the combat equipment but also study the logistics functions. Because of the weaknesses of the Russian military, we see how important these functions are. More general combat training is offered to infantry soldiers since Ukraine needs to restore its strength,” he added.
It was previously reported that the Ukrainian instructors were trained at international exercises in Lithuania.
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