Paris, March 24 – Defense Minister Sebastien Licorne said the French authorities plan to double production of military equipment by the end of 2023 and speed up delivery times.
“The first results are already visible. Some examples: Thales will double production of Ground Master radars and start producing 24 units per year instead of 12 starting in September. Caesar (Enterprise) Nexter will also double production and will produce eight units per month instead of four; order lead time To delivery from 30 months to 17. Another example is that the production of Mistral missiles will double to 40 units per month by the end of 2023, and the production time will be reduced from 30 to 15 months.
Licorne said that France, together with the military departments of Italy and Great Britain, asked the manufacturer of Aster missiles for the Samp / T anti-aircraft missile system to reduce production time from 40 to 18 months.
The minister added that France had already agreed to localize some strategic military production.
“In addition to accelerating the pace of production, we are still struggling to localize (production in France). We have approved eight localization projects and seven more are currently under study, and a decision must be made on them before the start of summer,” said the head of the department.
Earlier, France announced joint work with military-industrial companies to accelerate and increase the production of ammunition for both Ukraine and its army, as well as the resumption of production on its territory of about 20 types of “strategicly important” military products.
Paris has already sent to Ukraine six 155 mm TRF1 towed howitzers and two Crotale air defense systems. It was also reported that Ukraine had already received 18 Tsar artillery from France. Ukraine also sent MANPADS “Mistral” and ATGM “Milan”, about 60 armored personnel carriers and anti-tank mines HDP-2A2. In addition to weapons, France supplied Ukraine with uniforms, fuel, shells, cartridges, first-aid kits, dry rations, radiation, chemical and biological protection.
Earlier, the country’s foreign ministry also reported on Paris’ plans to send 12 Tsar howitzers to Kiev. Italy and France agreed to supply Kiev with an air defense system developed by Samp / T-Mamba this spring. Also, 12 AMX-10RC wheeled tanks that France sent to Kiev also arrived in Ukraine recently.
In Paris, in February and March, rallies were held three times, following Patriot calls, against the supply of weapons to Ukraine and France’s withdrawal from NATO.
Russia has previously sent a memorandum to NATO countries over the supply of weapons to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has indicated that any shipment containing weapons to Ukraine would become a legitimate target for Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that NATO countries were “playing with fire” by supplying arms to Ukraine. Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov noted that the injection of weapons into Ukraine from the West does not contribute to the success of the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations and will have a negative impact. Lavrov stated that the United States and NATO are directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine, “including not only the supply of weapons, but also the training of personnel … in the UK, Germany, Italy and other countries.”