TechFrance boosts Ukraine's defense with advanced military aid package

France boosts Ukraine's defense with advanced military aid package

VAB, illustrative photo
VAB, illustrative photo
Images source: © X, @front_ukrainian

10:27 AM EDT, March 31, 2024

French authorities have announced an additional aid package for Ukraine, which includes ammunition and heavy military equipment. Among the items being sent to the front lines are VAB armored personnel carriers. We delve into their key features and capabilities.
The news of further support for Ukraine was confirmed in an interview with "Le Monde" by French Defense Minister, Sebastien Lecornu. This announcement came shortly after plans to provide 78 Caesar howitzers and 80,000 155 mm caliber shells were made public, underscoring Paris's robust commitment to assisting Ukraine.
French media reports indicate that the latest aid package will include Aster 30 missiles and several hundred VAB armored personnel carriers (Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé). These deliveries are scheduled for 2024 and early 2025. Additionally, France may also dispatch AMX-10 RC reconnaissance wheeled armored vehicles to support the front lines.

French armored transporters VAB for Ukraine

Produced by French company GIAT Industries in Saint-Chamond since 1974, the VAB armored personnel carriers, despite their vintage, have proven highly effective. Ukrainian forces, having received a batch of these vehicles in a previous aid package from France, have shared videos on social media demonstrating how the VABs protect soldiers from small arms fire and mines.

The VAB is available in two drivetrain variants - 4x4 and 6x6, both capable of reaching speeds up to 56 mph. Its interior can house a crew of two, along with 8-10 soldiers. Notably, the VAB boasts amphibious capabilities, allowing it to cross water bodies. Its standard armament includes a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm calibre machine gun.

Some VABs have been upgraded with additional ceramic armour by the French, enhancing protection for the crew to Level IV of the STANAG 4569 standard, albeit at the cost of increased weight and loss of amphibious functionality. In some versions, a 25 mm cannon has been added as extra armament.

The Aster 30 missiles, also included in the aid package, are compatible with air defence systems such as the SAMP/T (Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain). This system can target aerodynamic objects up to 75 miles away and ballistic targets up to about 37 miles, offering substantial defence capabilities.

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