what we know about the weapons that France sent since the beginning of the conflict

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, France has not stopped supplying Kyiv with weapons which are often drawn from its troop stockpiles. Points on military aid provided by Paris.

Will France deliver the Leclerc tanks requested by Kyiv to Ukraine? Inquiries were raised in France to enable the Ukrainian army to deal with the Russian offensive that would be launched at the end of winter. If Paris still had any doubts, she supported the country from the start of the conflict by sending weapons often drawn from French army stockpiles.

“The transfer strategy aims in particular to strengthen the operational capacity of the Ukrainian armed forces in areas with strategic challenges such as artillery, armored mobility and surface-to-air defense,” explained the Ministry of Armed Forces.

In 2022, France accounts for 550 million euros of Europe’s total of 3 billion euros. In addition to arms, France has created a special support fund with appropriations increasing to 200 million euros. This amount allows Ukraine to equip itself directly with the French manufacturer from BITD (industrial and technological defense base).

On the other hand, Ukrainian soldiers were trained in France for the use of provided equipment and weaponry. France also provides training for combatants and special training (maintenance, logistics, etc.). To date, more than 400 Ukrainian military specialists have been trained by the French army.

France has also sent combat equipment (helmets, bulletproof vests, night vision scopes, combat rations, NBC uniforms, medical equipment) as well as fuel and ammunition of all calibers, the details of which remain classified. As for the arsenal, we have set an update on the arsenal that has been provided and which will be delivered in the coming weeks.

One hundred armored vehicles

• About twenty AMX10-RCs

This 15 ton amphibious light armored vehicle is designed for intelligence and reconnaissance. It is equipped with a 105mm gun and 7.62mm machine gun and can carry up to 38 rounds.

AMX-10 RC tank, model promised to Ukraine by France, here in Villepinte, France.
AMX-10 RC tank, model promised to Ukraine by France, here in Villepinte, France. © Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP

The amount of AMX provided has not been officially stated, but will be made at the rate it is reimbursed by Jaguarreplacements made as part of The scorpion collaborative combat program. Can be expected France will send to kyiv within two months gradually around twenty AMX10. Operator training should start in the next few days.

• 60 Forward-Armored Vehicles (VAB)

Advanced Armored Vehicle (VAB)
Front armored vehicle (VAB) © Joel Saget – AFP

About sixty VABs (Forward Armored Vehicles) have been supplied to Ukraine. Entering service in 1976, it is currently the most common troop transport vehicle in the French Army. It is most commonly armed with a machine gun, but may also be equipped with a machine gun or missile system.

• 20 Strongholds

In October, France strengthened its military support for Ukraine by announcing a donation of 20 Bastion armored vehicles (Arquus). Bastion is a 12.5 tonne tank developed exclusively for export. There are several versions. The APC will be sent to Ukraine, a combat model equipped with a turret to accommodate a 12.7 mm machine gun.

twenty guns

• 18 Emperors

Ukrainian soldiers fire a Caesar cannon at Russian positions on the front line in the Donbass region, June 15, 2022.
Ukrainian soldiers fire a Caesar cannon at Russian positions on the front line in the Donbass region, June 15, 2022. © ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

French provided Caesar’s 18 guns from 155mm to Ukraine. These howitzers were highly appreciated for their maneuverability: they were mounted directly on the trucks. They have a range of 40 kilometers and each weapon has its own ballistic computer and navigation system. They can fire six rounds per minute.

• 6x155mm TRF1

The TRF1 is a 155mm towed gun with a range of 24 kilometers with conventional projectiles and 30 kilometers with active-reactive projectiles. The rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute. Motorized to move at less than 10 km/h to change position after firing.

“Several dozen” Milan anti-tank missiles

France has provided “several dozen” Milan anti-tank surface-to-surface missiles, weapons suitable for warfare against tanks, armored vehicles, or buildings. Milan allows you to shoot day and night thanks to the infrared system. It reaches targets up to 2500 meters thanks to a semi-automatic guidance system, which is called “wire guided”.

More than a hundred anti-aircraft defense systems

• Mistral

Mistral very short range anti-aircraft missiles supplied. They can hit ground targets at a range of 6000 meters and air targets at an altitude of 3000 meters. Produced by MBDA, France authorized Norway to donate one hundred of these surface-to-air missiles out of 400 purchased during the 1990s.

• Rattle snake

Thales Rattlesnake
Thales Rattlesnake © Thales

In terms of anti-aircraft defense, the Crotale, manufactured by Thales and armed by MBDA, is a short-range (3,000 meters above sea level) system suitable for destroying Russian missiles and kamikaze drones such as those supplied by Iran to Moscow. More sophisticated than the Mistral, the Crotales has a radar and a gunner’s computer to engage targets in the infrared. However, it is not known how many rattlesnakes were supplied.

• Mamba System

France and Italy will ship to Ukraine next summer the Mamba SAMP-T (Thales) system consisting of elements provided by both countries. Ukrainian operator training will start in the next few days. The system is equipped with the Aster-30 medium-range missile (MBDA).

The MAMBA medium-range surface-to-air system provides a bubble of protection for forces operating within the coverage area
The MAMBA medium-range surface-to-air system provides a bubble of cover for troops operating in the DGA© coverage area

Designed to counter cruise or ballistic missile attacks, engage fighter aircraft or drones, the Mamba is a supersonic weapon (mach 4.5) capable of hitting targets up to an altitude of 20 kilometers at a distance of over 100 kilometers.

Two Unitary Rocket Launchers (LRU)

Ukraine received two French rocket launchers (LRU). With an attack capacity of over 70 kilometers, they make it possible to hit distant targets, for example the Russian logistics chain or their rear bases, or attack the front while out of range of enemy fire.

Pascal Samam

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