French tanks could reach Ukraine army next week

French tanks could reach Ukraine army next week

French armoured vehicles could arrive in Ukraine as early as next week, France’s Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said on Sunday.

The AMX-10 is a wheeled armoured vehicle with a powerful gun, and is sometimes described as a light tank. The move comes more than a month after Paris said it would send about 30 of the vehicles as part of a new aid package, having already sent anti-aircraft weapons and mobile artillery systems.

But the AMX-10, being lightly armoured, falls short of the kind of vehicles Ukraine insists it needs to win the conflict with Russia.

Kyiv has called for more tracked, heavily armoured tanks, sometimes called main battle tanks, including further supplies of British Challenger 2s, US M1 Abrams and German Leopard 2s.

Those have already been pledged, but analysts say the numbers committed are insufficient to turn the tide on the battlefield. Ukraine is thought to have about 400 domestically produced T-64BM tanks and 300 T-80s, in addition to operating about 1,000 captured Russian tanks.

Russia is thought to have about 1,800 tanks available for combat in Ukraine, having lost about 1,000 of its operational fleet, according to a recent estimate by the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Due to the high intensity of combat along the front lines, those numbers can change rapidly.

The US has also pledged more than 100 Bradly Fighting Vehicles, which are designed to carry troops into battle but can be fitted with anti-tank missiles, and have a cannon powerful enough to destroy lightly armoured vehicles.

The first vehicles will be sent to Ukraine “by the end of next week”, Mr Lecornu told Le Parisien newspaper’s Sunday edition.

Training of Ukrainian crews on the AMX-10 was now “nearly complete”, he said.

Overall training of Ukrainian military was “intensifying”, he added, both in France and Poland, a fellow Nato member.

Starting next month, 600 Ukrainian troops will undergo training every month, he said.

Asked about possible fighter aircraft deliveries to Ukraine, an urgent request by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the defence minister said the question was “not taboo”.

But he said such military aid posed complex “logistical and practical questions”.

Because of slow European and US action on tank deliveries, delayed by German reluctance to supply Leopard 2s or allow allied operators to send them, the swift delivery of the AMX-10s will likely be welcomed by Kyiv.

Larger main battle tanks are not expected to make an appearance on the front line until April at the earliest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Would you like to receive notifications on latest updates? No Yes