France promises light battle tanks to Ukraine | War in Ukraine
The AMX-10 RC are light tanks weighing almost 25 tons, equipped with 105mm guns and mounted on wheels.
Paris has promised Ukraine to deliver French-built AMX-10 RC light battle tanks to it in response to kyiv's pressing needs to confront the Russian army, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday. to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
President Macron wanted to boost military aid to kyiv by agreeing to deliver light combat tanks, the French presidency explained after an hour-long phone call between the two leaders, stating that this is the first time that Western-designed tanks [will be] supplied to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
European allies of the Ukraine have already delivered Soviet-designed tanks but never yet Western-built tanks, despite repeated requests from kyiv.
Mr. Zelensky said he thanked his French counterpart for the decision to transfer light battle tanks, also referring to an intensification of work with partners to obtain similar deliveries.
Germany is reluctant to deliver Leopard 2 battle tanks. Paris, for its part, has no intention for the time being of supplying kyiv with its 56-ton Leclerc heavy tanks equipped with a gun with a range of 4000 meters, of which the French army has 200 copies. However, France has deployed 13 of them to Romania to reinforce NATO's eastern border.
The AMX-10 RC, whose production started in the 1980s, are light tanks weighing nearly 25 tons with 105 mm guns, mounted on wheels and not on tracks. They are therefore very mobile, certainly old, but efficient, assures an adviser to the French presidency.
The French army, which has nearly 250 of them, is gradually replacing them with the next-generation Jaguar reconnaissance and combat armored vehicle, 25-ton class.
Soldiers stand in a row next to AMX-10 RC tanks during a departure ceremony on March 12, 1991 in the military city of King Khaled , south of the Iraqi border.
The French and Ukrainian Defense Ministers will exchange very quickly to define the terms of these deliveries, both in terms of deadlines and the number of tanks, said the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.
Emmanuel Macron, who reaffirmed France's unwavering support for Volodymyr Zelensky, thus wanted to demonstrate the sustainability and continuity of French military aid.
Until victory, until peace returns to Europe, our support for Ukraine will not weaken, Emmanuel Macron wrote Wednesday evening on Twitter, while some voices in Europe claim that the France provides too lukewarm support to Ukraine.
In December, a ranking by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German think tank, placed France in 10th position, behind the United Kingdom, Poland or Germany, for its military support to kyiv, provided mainly by the United States.
Discussions are also continuing between kyiv and Paris on sending other types of armored vehicles to help the Ukrainians strengthen their protected transport and attack capabilities with armored units, argued the French presidency.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting in kyiv with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on June 16, 2022
Mr. Zelensky thus announced on Wednesday the arrival of Bastion light armored vehicles, acquired by Ukraine thanks to the special fund created by Paris to allow kyiv to provide itself with equipment.
We have agreed with Emmanuel Macron to increase our cooperation in order to significantly strengthen our air defense and other defense capabilities, Mr. Zelensky added.
Since the beginning of the conflict, in February 2022, France notably provided 18 Caesar guns of 155 mm with a range of 40 km, mounted on trucks, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, forward armored vehicles (VAB) and , more recently, rocket launchers as well as Crotale missile batteries.
Paris is also considering supplying kyiv with 6 to 12 additional Caesar guns, taken from an order for Denmark .
We are still in discussion with Denmark, the subject is not closed, commented the Élysée on Wednesday.
The French presidency also announced that France would deliver 63 high-power electric generators in the coming days as well as five million x27;LED bulbs to meet the urgent needs of Ukraine, whose energy infrastructure is largely damaged by the incessant Russian strikes.