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France, Australia launch joint artillery shell production for Ukraine
France and Australia intend to produce several thousand artillery shells for Ukraine in a joint multi-million dollar project, French Defense Minister Sébastian Lecornu said on Jan. 30.
“Several thousand 155-millimeter shells are going to be manufactured in common, with an unprecedented partnership between Australia and France,” Lecornu said during a joint meeting in Paris.
Lecornu said French arms company Nexter will collaborate with Australian companies, which will provide powder for the shells.
“This forms part of the ongoing level of support that both France and Australia is providing Ukraine to make sure that Ukraine is able to stay in this conflict and be able to see it concluded on its own terms,” Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said.
While the ministers did not specify the exact quantity of shells that will be manufactured, they indicated that it would be a long-term collaboration.
On Jan. 25, the New York Times reported that the U.S. will increase artillery production by 500% for Ukraine. According to the report, production of 155-millimeter shells would increase to 90,000 a month within two years to both make up for shortfalls caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and to build up stockpiles.