France will deliver radar and air defense systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks, President Emmanuel Macron announced in an interview Wednesday.
The president didn’t specify the type or quantity, but Reuters revealed it as Crotale short-range anti-air missiles.
Crotale is capable of knocking out low-flying missiles as well as manned and unmanned aircraft, with a no-escape zone of 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) against “high maneuvering targets,” according to the manufacturer Thales.
War Enters New Stage: Macron
Speaking in an interview on France 2 television, Macron said the war has entered “an unprecedented stage” with the Russian missile strikes earlier this week.
“This is a new phase of bombing coming from land, sea, air, and drones against essential infrastructure and civilians,” Macron said, adding that radar and anti-air missiles would “protect the country from drone and missile attacks.”
France’s Lacking Support to Ukraine
France has faced criticism for its paltry military aid to Ukraine compared to other Western countries, highlighted by the Ukrainian defense ministry’s Twitter post on Wednesday nudging the country to do more.
Sophie Marceau… Isabelle Adjani… Brigitte Bardot…
Emmanuel Macron! … and CAESARs!
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) October 12, 2022
Explaining the relatively fewer French deliveries, which include Mistrel anti-aircraft system and 18 Caeser mounted howitzers, Macron said that the country needed the military hardware itself “to protect our eastern flank.”
French defense minister Sebastian Lecornu, meanwhile, announced Tuesday that the country is sending “more tanks to Romania, Rafale fighter jets to Lithuania, and infantry to Estonia, in a bid to boost NATO’s eastern flank.