France gives Ukraine Crotale systems to counteract Russian missile strikes
France gives Ukraine Crotale systems (Photo:defense.gouv.fr)
Paris recently gave Kyiv two Crotale missile batteries for air defense and two multiple launch rocket systems for ground strikes, French TV channel BFMTV reported on Nov. 20.
The French channel quoted an interview of French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu with French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.
Ukraine's request for radar stations is also "under consideration," the minister told the newspaper.
French President Emmanuel Macron promised to provide air defense systems to Ukraine in October.
At that time, BFMTV reported that Ukraine was expected to receive three or four Crotale systems.
According to Defence Express, Crotale ("rattlesnake" in French) is a short-range air defense system developed in the late 20th century. It can be used both in the frontline area to destroy enemy aircraft and helicopters, and to protect objects in the rear by destroying cruise missiles.
Croatle was initially designed as a sea-borne system, and is installed on French frigates of the La Fayette type. The land version is installed on a movable chassis or on a trailer platform.
The complex can launch of up to eight VT-1 missiles under a radio command and guidance system. It can intercept targets at speeds up to 1,800 kilometers per hour. The SAM can simultaneously fire at four targets, and, thanks to digitalization, the reaction speed of the complex is only five seconds.
According to the French defense minister, his country has already provided Ukraine with military assistance worth more than EUR 550 million, including 18 Caesar self-propelled howitzers, Milan and Mistral missiles, about 60 VAB armored vehicles, HDP-2A2 anti-tank mines, protection against nuclear, biological or chemical attacks, and night vision devices.
France will also participate in the work of the hub for maintenance of military equipment for Ukraine in Slovakia. PzH 2000 howitzers, Caesar self-propelled artillery systems, Gepard tanks and Dingo armored vehicles are to be serviced there.
In addition, the French Parliament voted for a support fund for Ukraine worth EUR 200 million. Paris also promised to contribute to the training of the Ukrainian military.
"Our task — to begin with — is to train 2,000 people out of 15,000 proposed by the EU,” Lecornu said.
“400 Ukrainian soldiers have already been trained, in particular, on the equipment we supply.”
"We fulfil everything we promise," Lecornu said.
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