France to Supply Ukraine With More Self-Propelled Artillery, Canada Sends Guided Shells
The premier killer of this war
The top leadership of the French government on Friday broke weeks of strategic silence over military aid to Kyiv and confirmed it has delivered MILAN anti-tank guided missiles and that it will further supply CAESAR artillery howitzers and thousands of shells to Ukraine to fight Russian armed forces.
In an interview with the daily Sud Ouest ahead of the second and final round of the presidential elections on Sunday, President Emmanuel Macron disclosed the delivery of “substantial equipment, from Milan to the CAESAR, including several types of weapons. I think we have to continue on this path.”
Hours after the interview, Defense Minister Florence Parly also confirmed in a tweet that Paris continues to offer military support to Kyiv, with the “delivery of several Caesar artillery guns and thousands of shells.”
The government had until now only announced that military equipment amounting to100 million euros was delivered without revealing the type of equipment.
A BFMTV news report citing officials from the Elysee specified that a few dozen MILAN has been delivered while up to ten CAESARS and thousands of shells will be handed over in the coming days.
The CAESAR is a French-made truck-mounted artillery system while the MILAN is a Franco-German production.
Responding to whether Europe should supply heavy weapons and tanks, Macron said in the interview that each country chooses the type of deliveries but has to guard caution on the “red line.”
“We must help the Ukrainians as much as possible, but we must be careful never to be co-belligerent,” he said. [You already are.]
Canada recently sent four of its relatively new [towed] M-777 howitzers to Ukraine’s military to help it face down a renewed Russian offensive from the east, CBC News has learned.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed the plan to ship what he called “heavy artillery” earlier this week, but offered no details on what the Canadian military would be donating.
“Their most recent ask was exactly for that, for heavy artillery, for reasons of operational security,” Trudeau said on Wednesday. “I can’t go into the details at this point on how and what we’re getting to them exactly.”
Three defence sources — who spoke to CBC News on the condition they not be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the file — say four of the 37 howitzers Canada purchased during the Afghan war were earmarked for shipment.
Defence Minister Anita Anand acknowledged the shipment in a media release Friday but did not provide specifics, saying only that “a number of M-777 howitzers” were sent to Ukraine “in conjunction with our American allies.”
Later Friday, during an interview on CBC’s Power & Politics, Anand said “there are certain details that we are keeping confidential for security reasons.”
The big guns come out of the inventory of the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, based in Shilo, Manitoba, said two of the confidential sources.
The shipment included an unspecified amount of ammunition, the statement said.
One of three defence sources said the package included a number of precision-guided Excalibur rounds left over from the Afghan war. The GPS-guided shells are worth about $112,000 US per round.
“While this equipment comes from the inventory of the Canadian Armed Forces, the capability will be replenished,” Anand said.