March 27, 2023

France and Australia have reached an agreement to supply 155 mm shells to Ukraine to support it in its war against Russia, French army ministers Sébastien Lecornu and Australian Richard Marles announced on Monday.

“Several thousand 155mm shells are going to be jointly produced,” said Mr. Lecornu, while Mr. Marles spoke of a “multi-million Australian dollar project”, a “new cooperation between the industries of Australian and French defence”.

“This is part of the support efforts that Australia and France are providing to Ukraine to ensure that it is able to hold on to this conflict and end it on its own terms,” ​​the official said. Australian minister.

“The idea is to provide significant assistance, and an effort that is continuous over time,” said Mr. Lecornu, aiming for first deliveries during the first quarter of 2023, but refusing to go into further details. of the contract.

The French group Nexter will be maneuvering on the French side, while Australia will be “able to bring powders”, explained the French minister.

Defense Ministers met with their Foreign Affairs counterparts, French Catherine Colonna and Australian Penny Wong, in a 2+2 format meeting in Paris as part of a recent relaunch of Franco-Australian cooperation. This had been seriously affected by the Aukus affair in 2021, when Canberra canceled a major French submarine contract to choose to buy American submersibles.

The 155 mm shells are those fired by several Western artillery pieces supplied to Ukraine in its war against Russia, such as the French Caesars, the American M777s, or the German Panzerhaubitze 2000s.

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