War in Ukraine: France and Italy will deliver a surface-to-air defense system to kyiv

Europe 1 with AFP
modified to

8:16 p.m., February 03, 2023

France and Italy will deliver a MAMBA medium-range surface-to-air defense system in the spring to help Ukraine “defend against attacks by Russian drones, missiles and planes”, the ministry said on Friday. French Army. “The supply of such a system responds to the urgency expressed by Oleksiï Reznikov, Ukrainian Defense Minister, to his French and Italian counterparts, to protect civilian populations and infrastructures against Russian attacks from the air”, added the ministry in a statement.

Sébastien Lecornu, French Minister of the Armed Forces, and Guido Crosetto, Italian Minister of Defense, spoke by telephone on Friday to finalize this delivery which had been under discussion for several weeks.

Europe’s first long-range anti-missile system

“The two ministers finalized technical discussions (…) to deliver the SAMP/T – MAMBA anti-aircraft defense system to Ukraine in the spring of 2023. This is the first long-range European anti-missile system, of French design -Italian,” the ministry said. The announcement comes after Mr Reznikov visited Paris this week.

Ukraine has been clamoring for months to strengthen its ground-to-air defense, especially after a wave of Russian strikes on its critical infrastructure using Iranian drones. A MAMBA – equivalent to the American Patriot system – had already been deployed in Romania to protect the highly strategic region of the port of Constanta, on the Black Sea.

France is preparing to deliver additional guns

With this system, its radar and its launchers armed with eight Aster missiles with a range of approximately 100 km, “we can counter a wide range of airborne threats: short-range ballistic missiles, fighter jets, helicopters, drones and even salvoes of cruise missiles with multiple shots”, underlined to AFP in December in Romania a French soldier. France has already announced on Tuesday the delivery in the coming weeks of twelve additional 155 mm Caesar guns, allowing kyiv to have 49 copies in total, “a mass which is not negligible”, had underlined Sébastien Lecornu.

She also promised a Ground Master 200 (GM200) radar produced by the French Thales. This medium-range radar can detect an enemy aircraft at 250 km and fight it at 100 km, whether it flies at low speed and low altitude like drones, or at high altitude like fighter planes.

It also provides protection against rockets and artillery fire by alerting ground troops of enemy fire, says its manufacturer, who has sold more than 60 copies worldwide. It is transportable on a truck.

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