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France to supply Ukraine with Crotale air defense system

France to supply Ukraine with Crotale air defense system

Air Defense France Military assistance SAM Ukraine

France plans to provide Ukraine with additional military aid, in particular with the Crotale air defense system.

Sébastien Lecornu, French Minister of Defense, said that Ukraine will receive these air defense systems to defeat UAVs.

Lecornu noted that these Crotale air defense systems “will be especially useful in the fight against drones and air attacks.”

According to the minister, France has 12 such batteries. He did not specify how many of them will be transferred to Ukraine.

The minister hopes that Ukraine will be able to deploy them within two months, including time to train the Ukrainian military to master them.

Міністр оборони Франції Себастьєн Лекорню. Фото: ЗМІ Франції

Sébastien Lecornu also informed that France has created a €100 million fund, which Ukrainians will be able to use to buy the necessary equipment in case France is the supplier.

At the same time, France’s use of its arms stockpile to supply Ukraine also drew attention to the country’s own defense needs.

Lecornu said that the Crotale batteries intended for Ukraine will be replaced by the more modern Mamba air defense systems.

Crotale

In 1964, South Africa signed a contract with the French Thomson-Houston (later renamed Thomson-CSF) to create a mobile all-weather air defense system designed to combat targets flying at low and extremely low altitudes.

After the tests were conducted in 1971, the first systems named Cactus were delivered to South Africa within two years.

In 1972, the system called “Crotale” was adopted by the French Air Force. The system has been repeatedly upgraded and received series: 1000/2000/3000/4000.

Starting in 1994, an upgraded version of the system — “Improved Crotale” — was launched, equipped with a new radar with a phased array antenna.

Combat vehicles of the Crotale system are mounted on a P4R (4×4) armored wheeled chassis.
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The system can’t carry out combat operations while moving, but it can become combat-ready in less than 5 minutes after stopping.

There is no ammunition for R440 missiles on the launcher, so the spare missiles are carried on a special vehicle.

Ракета R440 до ЗРК “Crotale”

The R440 missile is permanently in a transport and launch container. The total weight of the missile is 100 kg.

The shrapnel blast warhead is located in the central part of the missile body.

The striking radius of the shrapnel is 8m, and the speed of flight reaches 2.3 km/s.

ЗРК “Crotale” військових Франції. Фото з відкритих джерел

The operation range is between 500 and 10000 m, at altitudes – up to 5000 m.

It’s not yet known which radar stations France will transfer to these systems.

Air Defense France Military assistance SAM Ukraine