Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Arms For Ukraine: French Weapons Deliveries To Kyiv

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
France has been a major source of military support for Ukraine. Like most European nations, France has opted not to disclose details of its arms deliveries to Ukraine with the exception of the Caesar SPGs, the disclosure of which also served the purpose of publicly reaffirming France's support to Ukraine and sending a message of deterrence to Moscow. Though France has delivered less in materiel support than Germany at this point in the conflict, it has come under less scrutiny than Berlin. Of course, this has much to do with Germany's self-inflicted public communications disaster regarding its support for Kyiv.

The most significant French contribution to Ukraine's defence consists of 24 155mm Caesar self-propelled guns (SPGs) delivered from April 2022 onwards, with the latest batch of six Caesars announced by French President Macron in early October 2022. [1] Eighteen of the Caesars are drawn from active stocks of the French Army, which operated 76 examples prior to the donations. The dedication of nearly a quarter of its inventory of Ceasar SPGs is a significant sacrifice compared to what other European nations have delivered, which have mostly drawn their donations from reserve stocks.
Until July 2022 France was one of the few European countries not to have delivered or pledged armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) to Ukraine. On the 27th of June, France's defence minister Sébastien Lecornu finally announced that France will supply Ukraine with large numbers of VAB armoured personnel carriers (APCs). [2] Further arms deliveries are under consideration, with Exocet anti-ship missiles (AShMs) among the items currently being contemplated. [3] These would join the Harpoon AShMs already delivered by the US, UK, Denmark and the Netherlands. [4] In October 2022 France also announced the creation of a fund, initially worth €100 million (since doubled to €200 million), for Ukraine to directly purchase military equipment from French companies. [5]
Unlike most European nations, France still maintains sizeable stocks of artillery currently placed in reserve. This includes dozens of 155mm TRF1 towed howitzers and comparable numbers of 155mm AMX-30 AuF1 SPGs. However, France's decision to provide Ukraine with active-service Caesar SPGs could indicate that it deems these systems unsuitable for use in Ukraine, despite Portugal even pledging World War II-era M114 howitzers to Ukraine. France also stores some 40 227mm M270 MLRS that are currently excess to requirements, although these would need to undergo modifications before they could be passed on to Kyiv. Finally, wheeled AMX-10 RC and ERC 90 Sagaie AFVs armed with 105mm and 90mm guns could prove attractive options if Ukraine is to request further AFV deliveries.

The following list attempts to keep track of military equipment delivered or pledged to Ukraine by France during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The entries below are sorted by armament category (with a flag denoting the country of origin). Due to the confidential nature of some arms deliveries they can serve only as a lower bound to the total volume of weaponry delivered. This list will be updated as further military support is uncovered or declared.
(Click on the vehicle or equipment type to get a picture of them)

Air Defence Systems

Multiple Rocket Launchers (2)

Self-Propelled Artillery (18)

  • 18 155mm Caesar 6x6s [Delivered from May 2022 onwards] (Delivered along with thousands of shells)

Towed Artillery (15+)

  • 15+ 155mm TRF1s [October 2022] (Purchased by Ukraine through the security capacity building fund)

Armoured Fighting Vehicles (40)

Armoured Personnel Carriers (~60)

  • ~60 VABs [July 2022]

Infantry Mobility Vehicles (20)


Engineering Equipment


Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS)

Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs)

Anti-Tank Mines



Small Arms


Miscellaneous Equipment


Special thanks to OpexNews.
[1] Ce qu’il faut retenir de l’interview d’Emmanuel Macron sur France 2 : livraisons d’armes à l’Ukraine, négociations avec la Russie et crise énergétique
[2] Guerre en Ukraine : la France annonce l'envoi de véhicules de transport blindés
[4] Answering The Call: Heavy Weaponry Supplied To Ukraine
Recommended Articles:
Beyond The Call - Dutch Arms Deliveries To Ukraine 
Answering The Call: Heavy Weaponry Supplied To Ukraine