France will be supplying Ukraine with the GM200 air defense radar under a contract signed with Thales on February 1, as talks on the joint donation by Italy and France of a SAMP/T air-defense system continue.
Earlier this week, Italy’s defense minister Guido Crosetto said the country was making progress on supplying unspecified systems for Ukraine’s defense needs.
It is known that Ukraine earlier requested the SAMP/T theater-level air defense system which is in service with the French Air Force and Italian Army.
While Crosetto did not provide details on the defense aid that is being prepared, he did mention that the delivery is being coordinated with France. Speaking to reporters in Paris on January 31, Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov said he was pleased with “progress on the SAMP/T system.”
According to Financial Times, Italy could be providing missile launchers, while France would be sending the interceptors for the SAMP/T. Earlier this week, Italy and France revealed they signed a contract for the purchase of an additional 700 Aster 30 B1 New Technology, Aster 30 B1 and Aster 15 medium range missiles that are used by SAMP/T among other platforms.
The contract for the GM200 air defense radar with Thales was signed during the official visit of Reznikov to Paris.
The complete short-range system includes the GM200 radar, a command-and-control center, a radio communications system and air target designators.
Reznikov’s French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu used the occasion of the Ukrainian official’s visit to announce that France would be supplying an additional 12 Caesar self-propelled howitzers.
These will be in addition to the 18 Caesars already sent by France since the start of the Russian invasion in Ukraine in February last year. The only difference is that the additional howitzers would be supplied directly from weapons manufacturer Nexter and not from French Army stocks, which had a total of 76 systems in its inventory at the time of the start of invasion.
In addition to the howitzers, France is coordinating the supply of 155mm shells to Ukraine with Australia. France will also host 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers for training on French territory by the summer, while 150 French soldiers will deploy to Poland at the end of the month to train up to 600 Ukrainian soldiers per month.