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France will deliver hundreds of armored vehicles to Ukraine, defense minister says

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PARIS (AP) — French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu said France is to deliver “hundreds” of armored vehicles by the beginning of next year to Ukraine as part of a new package of military aid for the country that just entered its third year of war since the full-scale Russian invasion.

In an interview with the French newspaper La Tribune’s Sunday edition, Lecornu said that “to hold such an extensive front line, the Ukrainian army needs, for example, our armored personnel carriers. It’s absolutely key for troop mobility.”

The French military is currently replacing its old VAB armored personnel carriers, that came into service in 1979, with a new generation of armored vehicles. “This old equipment, still operational, is going directly to Ukraine in large quantities. We’re talking about hundreds (of vehicles) in 2024 and early 2025,” Lecornu said.

Lecornu also said France will provide Ukraine with more anti-aircraft missiles.

The move comes as the French government is pushing its military industry to boost production to meet Kyiv’s urgent need for ammunition.

On Tuesday, Lecornu said France will soon be able to deliver 78 Caesar howitzers to Ukraine and will increase its supply of shells.

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Find more of AP’s coverage of Russia and Ukraine at /hub/russia-ukraine