France has announced major new military aid for Ukraine as Russia intensifies its attacks across the country. This comes as Ukraine faces ammunition shortages and urgent pleas for more Western support.
New French weapons for Ukraine
France will provide Ukraine with 12 additional Caesar howitzers, as well as missiles, rockets, and ammunition (Reuters). This is on top of the 18 Caesar cannons already delivered.
President Macron also said France will send Ukraine 40 additional Scalp cruise missiles, bringing the total to 146 (Army Recognition). These have a range of over 250 km and allow Ukraine to hit Russian targets from a distance.
Additionally, France is considering sending hundreds of AASM modular air-to-ground weapons (Yahoo News). The hammer-type bombs can strike within one meter of their target.
|Units to be Delivered
|Scalp Cruise Missiles
These new heavy armaments will bolster Ukraine’s artillery capabilities and allow it to strike Russian forces at greater distances. This could help shift the momentum as Ukraine faces falling ammunition stockpiles.
Growing urgency around Ukraine’s ammunition shortage
Ukraine is burning through thousands of artillery shells daily, causing growing concerns about dwindling Western supplies (AP News).
The usage rate has far exceeded the production rate of NATO members. While the U.S. plans to deliver 100,000 rounds, Ukraine continues to ask allies for more shells and faster deliveries as Russia launches wave after wave of attacks.
Germany has faced criticism for slow weapons deliveries. France is now vowing to accelerate its military industry to produce weapons and ammunition for Ukraine “as fast as physically possible” (KAAL TV).
Artillery coalition launched in Paris
Top defense officials from 50 countries gathered in Paris on January 18 to coordinate further military aid, including artillery, air defense systems, and ammunition (Defense News).
The meeting was intended to make aid deliveries more structured and regular. However, Ukraine’s Defense Minister did not attend over security concerns about travel (France24).
This ramped up French support comes alongside pledges from other NATO members:
- The U.S. announced $2.5 billion in military aid, including 90 Stryker combat vehicles
- Germany finally approved delivery of Marder infantry vehicles
- Poland may provide Leopard tanks
With Russia intensifying missile and drone attacks across Ukraine, these heavy weapons could help Ukraine defend itself and possibly launch counteroffensives.
Much now depends on the speed and quantity of deliveries as Ukraine faces a desperate race to replenish ammunition stockpiles. France’s ramped up production and the coordinated artillery coalition are positive steps.
However, Russia still retains overall advantages in the quantity of troops and weapons at its disposal. Western unity and resolve continues to be tested as the war drags on, while Putin seems determined to continue his bloody invasion despite mounting losses.
The coming weeks and months will be crucial in seeing if the renewed military support can help Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s brutality and shift the war’s momentum.
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