France is tripling its production of 155-millimeter ammunition to boost deliveries to war-ravaged Ukraine, the country’s Ministry of the Armed Forces announced Tuesday.
The development was made public following Minister Sébastien Lecornu’s visit to a 155mm howitzer Caesar production facility in south-central France.
According to Lecornu, ramping up ammo production will allow the country to send up to 3,000 155mm shells to Kyiv per month beginning in 2024.
Paris has been delivering 1,000 rounds to Ukraine per month since January 2023.
In addition to ammo, France’s Nexter Systems will also increase its production of Caesar howitzers from two to eight per month starting next year.
Avec les salariés de @NexterKNDS à Roanne.
Grâce à eux, la production est montée en cadence. Et les délais se sont réduits.
Résultats concrets d’une entrée en économie de guerre que je salue. pic.twitter.com/XywJJLMR5k
— Sébastien Lecornu (@SebLecornu) October 16, 2023
Lecornu said the country’s move to increase production is a “concrete result” of the shift to a war economy that French President Emmanuel Macron has called for.
Under such an economy, Europe will reportedly need “a much larger defense industry” to avoid over-reliance on other countries.
For its part, Paris adjusted its six-year framework defense spending plan based on the new geopolitical situation.
A total of 413 billion euros ($436 billion) will be earmarked for defense from 2024 to 2030, the country’s biggest military spending in more than five decades.
Macron predicts that the war economy will last “for a long time” as long as Russia continues to attack Ukraine.
Support for Ukraine
Since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, France has sent weapons and equipment to help Kyiv defend its sovereignty.
It has pledged to send 12 Caesar howitzers to the war-torn nation, in addition to the 18 it already delivered.
Paris also promised SCALP long-range cruise missiles to help the Ukrainian military strike Russian targets.