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France plans to launch arms production on Ukrainian territory.

| Defense News Army 2024

France is considering having some of its arms manufacturing companies produce military equipment directly on Ukrainian soil. This plan was revealed by Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu, who announced that three French companies would establish partnerships with Ukrainian firms for the production of spare parts, and possibly in the future, ammunition on Ukrainian territory.
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Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news Illustration of the Caesar canons assembly workshop at Nexter in Bourges (Picture source: Nexter)

These partnerships will focus particularly on the sectors of drones and ground equipment, marking a significant step in strengthening Ukraine's defensive capabilities against Russian aggression. Lecornu stated that the first production facilities should be operational by this summer, emphasizing the importance of rapid implementation to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Among the companies involved, the minister hinted at KNDS, the holding structure formed by France's Nexter and Germany's Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann, signaling the involvement of leading arms manufacturers. This initiative, which has been positively received by Ukrainian defenders, reflects France's ambition to establish arms production in Ukraine.

Furthermore, the Ukrainian and French governments have signed a bilateral security cooperation agreement, allocating 3 billion euros in military aid for 2024. This agreement covers security assistance and the supply of modern military equipment in land, air, maritime, space, and cyber areas, with priority given to air defense, artillery, long-range weapons, armored vehicles, and enhancing the capabilities of the Ukrainian Air Force.

Recently, the French company Arquus Defense announced the establishment of a repair workshop in Ukraine, primarily focused on the maintenance and refurbishment of the French-made VAB armored vehicles supplied to Ukraine, to ensure their long-term operational availability.

France is implementing a strategy to enhance Ukraine's defense sector by creating a base for the production of military equipment within Ukraine. This initiative is significant for the conflict with Russia, as it not only provides immediate support but also aims to boost Ukraine's defense autonomy and resilience over the long term. The focus on local production and technological independence is expected to significantly affect Ukraine's military strength. By decreasing reliance on foreign military supplies gradually, this strategy aims to secure a steady provision of critical military gear and improve Ukraine's capability for maintenance, customization, and modernization of its weaponry.

This approach is likely to improve the Ukrainian military's flexibility and robustness, enabling a consistent state of readiness, minimizing risks associated with supply chain interruptions, and allowing for rapid adaptation of military equipment to meet operational needs. Such improvements could enhance military efficiency and the ability to address challenges on the battlefield effectively.

The shift towards self-reliance in defense manufacturing may also impact Ukraine's strategic stance in the long run. As the conflict continues, the capability for independent production and enhancement of military equipment could augment Ukraine's deterrent strength, potentially affecting the strategic assessments of neighboring states. Additionally, this move towards self-sufficiency could aid in stabilizing Ukraine after the conflict, reducing its dependency on foreign military supplies, enhancing its autonomy in defense-related decisions, and easing the transition to a peaceful environment.

Defense News March 2024

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