“Agreement between Italy and France: 700 missiles to Ukraine for anti-aircraft shield”

Italy and France have agreed to jointly purchase 700 Aster-30 missiles worth two billion euros for the Samp/T air defense system, also called Mamba. This was reported by the transalpine newspaper L’Opinion. If the agreement is ratified, this would be a step towards the delivery to Ukraine of the Mamba, an anti-aircraft shield developed by Rome and Paris within NATO and which Kiev has been eyeing since November.

Aster missiles

The news came the day after a meeting between Defense Minister Guido Crosetto and his French counterpart, Sebastien Lecornu. According to the view, the missiles will be supplied by Mbda, an aerospace industry whose shares are held by Franco-German Airbus, British Bae System and Italian Leonardo. The Mamba consists mainly of three subsystems: the central system is provided by the French Thales, while the other two (missiles and launch systems) are supplied by Mbda (from the Italian and transalpine divisions). Therefore, this Ukrainian request for shields, deemed necessary to repel Russia’s missile attacks, requires the double approval of Paris and Rome.

Aster-30s, writes L’Opinion, “Undoubtedly one of the most advanced surface-to-air missiles in the world, comparable to the US Patriots. They aim to shoot down warplanes and missiles, including some of the most difficult to intercept ballistic missiles.” According to a French Air Force document, the range of these missiles is “more than 100 km”. They can be launched both from a ship (frigate or aircraft carrier) and from the ground, precisely with the Mamba system.

Mamba

Designed for cruise or ballistic attacks and targeting warplanes or drones, the Mamba is a supersonic weapon capable of hitting a medium-range target at an altitude of up to 20 kilometers. Italy and France have deployed a dozen soldiers on their territory (and in Romania as part of a NATO treaty) to defend strategic areas. The system that could be shipped to Ukraine would have to put together pieces from both countries to balance the effort.

Kyiv wanted to have the Samp/T in November on a sort of shopping list that includes tanks and warplanes. The US pressured its allies to ensure that Ukraine gradually acquired weapons already integrated into NATO: Washington first set a good example with the Patriots, and then Berlin did the same with the Leopards 2, promising Abrams tanks. Rome and Paris will do their part, as longer times are expected on the jets.

Source: Today IT

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