France to send ageing armored vehicles, advanced missiles to Ukraine

Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu has confirmed France will deliver hundreds of old armoured vehicles and new surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine for its war against Russia.

In an interview with La Tribune Dimanche, Lecornu said that President Emmanuel Macron – following talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy – had asked him to prepare a new aid package, which will include old but still functional French equipment.

"The Ukrainian army needs to defend a very long front line, which requires armoured vehicles; this is absolutely crucial for troop mobility and is part of the Ukrainian requests," he told the newspaper.

He said France was looking at providing hundreds of VAB (Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé) front-line troop carriers in 2024 and early 2025.

France's army is gradually replacing its thousands of VABs, which first went into operation in the late 1970s, with a new multi-role troop carrier.

Ground-air defence

Lecornu added that France was also preparing to release a new batch of Aster 30 surface-to-air missiles for the SAMP/T system provided to Kyiv.

The Aster 30 can intercept warplanes, drones and cruise missiles within a range of 120 km.

"Ukraine has an urgent need for better ground-air defence ... Russia is intensifying its strikes, in particular on civilians and civil infrastructure," he said.

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