In a move to reinforce support for the Ukrainian military, the French government has announced an additional allocation of €200 million to the Ukraine army support fund, specifically designated for financing arms purchases.
This was reported by Franceinfo, citing the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu.
On November 7, Lecornu revealed France's commitment to provide €200 million to the Ukraine support fund, underlining the nation's unwavering support for its Eastern European ally. Lecornu explained, "We voted in favor of an amendment in the committee that opens up the possibility of allocating another €200 million for the Ukraine support fund. This will allow us to start implementing a new strategy to purchase new equipment for the Ukrainian army."
The support fund in question was established by France in October 2022 to address Ukraine's military requirements, granting the country the ability to directly purchase weapons from French manufacturing enterprises and collaborate with the French defense industry.
Recent transactions involving the fund illustrate its vital role in strengthening Ukraine's military capabilities. Earlier this year, Ukraine secured a Ground Master 200 (GM200) mobile aerial target detection radar from the renowned French company Thales, with funding provided through the Ukraine support fund. This radar system boasts the versatility to operate independently or in conjunction with Western air defense systems, and it can be seamlessly integrated into the SAMP/T air defense system, which is also being supplied to Ukraine.
Additionally, since the outset of this year, Ukraine has embarked on substantial acquisitions of 155mm artillery round hulls from the French manufacturer Forges de Tarbes. A noteworthy development occurred on June 13 when the Forges de Tarbes plant received an order to provide 60,000 hulls for the production of 155-mm rounds, scheduled for delivery in 2024.
While specific details regarding the destination of the ordered artillery ammunition components remain undisclosed, it's worth noting that in August, Oleksandr Kamyshin, Ukraine's Minister of Strategic Industries, expressed intentions to commence the production of NATO-standard 155-mm artillery rounds by the close of 2023. This initiative further underscores the deepening collaboration between Ukraine and France in strengthening Ukraine's military capabilities.