Misunderstanding: Ukraine expects, but France will not send SAMP/T

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PARIS ($1=1.01 Euros) — French online portal open-news.fr claims that France has no plans to send its SAMP/T Mamba anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile system to Ukraine. The media cited its source in the French Ministry of Defense.

Photo credit: Gagadget

“According to a MINARM source [the French Ministry of Defense – ed.], there are no plans to send the SAMP/T Mamba to Ukraine. The minister’s words were misunderstood in a recent interview,” the French media reported in a tweet.

Ukraine expected these air defense systems to strengthen its air defense against Russian drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. Ukrainian President Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky expressed similar hopes during the G7 summit in early October [October 10-11]. Then Mr. Zelensky asked his French and Italian colleagues to “speed up the supply of Ukraine SAMP/T SAM.”

However, deliveries of the Crotale air defense system by France have been confirmed. “On the other hand, the Crotale NG sent and taken from our stocks will eventually be replaced by the Mamba,” concluded open-news.fr.

Photo credit: Twitter


The SAMP/T, known to the French military as the Mamba, is the product of joint work between MBDA and Thales. The air defense battery is designed to respond to air threats with a range of 600 km. The SAMP/T is fully compliant with NATO standards and can operate in highly extreme combat conditions. Its transportation is carried out by air with Airbus A400M and Lockheed-Martin C-130J Super Hercules.

SAMP/T is characterized by an extremely fast response. Each battery is equipped with six vertical launchers, each with eight ready-to-fire Aster 30 rockets. It is this type of rocket that is a key component of the French system. In 2013, during a joint exercise between the French and Italian militaries, an Aster 30 intercepted a target presented as a ballistic missile after a 300 km flight.

The SAMP/T can fire eight Aster 30 missiles in just 10 seconds. Highly automated and 360º defensive capabilities, the French air defense system would give the desired combat capability and countermeasures to the Ukrainian army.

Ukraine get Crotale NG

On the other hand, what Ukraine receives from France [Crotale] is necessary for defense, but not exactly what Ukrainians urgently need. The Crotale is designed to counter low-flying targets. This is good news for the Ukrainian armed forces, as Russia has stepped up its aggression in recent days, attacking civilian and energy infrastructure sites with stray munitions.

On the other hand, the Crotale takes five minutes to deploy and cannot fire missiles while moving. Years ago Crotale had problems with radar stations, so it is not clear exactly what stations the Ukrainians will receive, or already got. The R440 missile operated by Crotale can engage a target at a height of up to 5 km and a radius of up to 10 km.

France is ‘cleaniang up’ obsolete SAM

Ukraine receives from France an air defense system that was developed years ago for the needs of the Republic of South Africa. In the 64th year of the last century, design and prototype work on the creation of the system began, and in the 71st year, the first system was delivered to the RSA. A year later, the French armed forces also began its acquisition.

Photo credit: Daguet

It can be said that by supplying Crotale to Ukraine, France is “cleaning up” obsolete military equipment, which annually “swallows” finances from the military budget just for maintenance. Support is already difficult to implement due to the outdated technology in the system and the difficulty of updating it to a certain level.


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