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Ukraine conflict: France to send AASM guided bombs and more SCALP EG missiles, Germany refuses Taurus

France has announced a package of air-launched munitions for Ukraine, including the AASM Hammer guided bomb. Although seen here in its baseline GPS/INS-guided version in front of French Rafale fighters, they will likely be used by Ukraine on the F-16. (Safran)

France is to send to Ukraine the Safran Armement Air-Sol Modulaire (AASM) Hammer guided bomb for the first time while pledging more MBDA SCALP EG cruise missiles. At the same time, Germany has refused to transfer the Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missile.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on 16 January that his country would supply ‘hundreds of bombs' and 40 additional SCALP EG missiles. The French government later clarified to national media the meaning of the term ‘bombs', saying it referred to the AASM precision-guided munition (PGM), of which France has close to 1,800 in stock. A day after Macron's pledge regarding French support, the German Bundestag voted not to transfer any of its Taurus missiles, despite repeated requests from Ukraine to do so.

The AASM PGM comprises a guidance kit and range augmentation unit fitted to standard 250 kg bombs. It is offered in three versions: SBU-38 (inertial and GPS guidance), SBU-54 (GPS-inertial and laser guidance), and SBU-64 (GPS, inertial, and infrared guidance). Safran also offers the AASM on 125, 500, and 1,000 kg bombs. Fired at stand-off distance day or night, under all weather conditions, the AASM offers a range exceeding 50 km. It can be launched at low altitude and highly off-axis, and can perform high-precision vertical strikes.

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