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France to supply Ukraine with Crotale air defence systems

They will be especially useful in fighting drones.

France to supply Ukraine with Crotale air defence systems

France will provide Ukraine with Crotale short-range anti-aircraft missile systems, French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu has said, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

"They will be especially useful in the fight against drones and aerial bombardment," the minister said.

He recalled that France has 12 batteries of these air defence systems, but did not specify how many of them would be sent to Ukraine. Lecornu also said that the Crotale air defence systems withdrawn from the French armed forces will be replaced by more modern Mamba air defence systems. He explained that Ukraine is planned to be able to deploy Crotale batteries in two months, during which the Ukrainian military will learn to use them.

Lecornu noted that discussions are underway on the supply of six more CAESAR systems. The minister explained that the French military had previously placed an order for new CAESAR systems to replace the ones transferred to Ukraine.

According to Lecornu, the French defence budget will reach EUR 44bn in 2023 - the highest level since World War Two.

France will also train up to 2,000 Ukrainian servicemen as part of a new joint EU training mission.

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