France, Italy to send Ukraine SAMP/T Mamba air defense systems
The initiative is intended to assist Kiev "defend itself against Russian drones, missiles, and aircraft", the states have claimed.
Following urgent requests from Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, the French Defense Ministry announced Friday that Paris and Rome have agreed to send their SAMP/T Mamba surface-to-air missile systems to Ukraine.
The systems, manufactured by Eurosam, are a vehicle-mounted battery of medium-range missiles designed to protect the battlefield and sensitive areas such as airports and hospitals from airborne threats such as missiles and manned or unmanned aircraft.
The initiative is intended to assist Kiev "defend itself against Russian drones, missiles, and aircraft", the ministry said.
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Reznikov had previously requested that France and Italy urgently carry out the delivery to assist with "the protection of civilian populations and infrastructure from Russian air attacks", the ministry said in a statement.
French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu had previously announced he would supply Kiev with an additional 12 Caesar truck-mounted howitzers and fresh air defense equipment to Ukraine.
However, France has yet to commit to sending its Leclerc tanks to Ukraine.
France has 220 operational Leclerc tanks and has not built any since 2006, so giving Leclercs means weakening France without being able to replenish the stock.