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Ukraine conflict: Franco-Italian SAMP/T deployed and operational

The Franco-Italian SAMP/T medium-range air-defence system (seen here test firing an Aster 30 missile) donated to Ukraine has been deployed and is operational. (MBDA)

The SAMP/T medium-range air-defence system donated to Ukraine by France and Italy has been deployed and is operational, protecting “key installations and lives”, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on behalf of himself and ItalianPrime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, during a conference on air and anti-missile defence on the fringes of the Paris Air Show 2023 on 19 June.

When French Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu and Italian Minister of Defence Guido Crosetto finalised plans to supply Ukraine with SAMP/T on 3 February, the Ministry of Armed Forces of France said in a press release that the system would provide Ukraine with the capability to defend against attacks by Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), missiles, and aircraft. The ministry added that the Ukrainian order of a Thales Ground Master 200 (GM200) radar on 1 February would increase the effectiveness of the SAMP/T system.

At the 19 June air and anti-missile defence conference, Lecornu signed a letter of intent with defence ministers from Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, and Hungary on the joint acquisition of Mistral short-range air-defence missiles. Macron described the agreement as “a very good example of European sovereign co-operation in a relevant area that is not sufficiently covered”.

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