France will send Ukraine 40 new long-range SCALP-EG missiles in addition to "hundreds of bombs," French President Emmanuel Macron said in a press conference on Jan. 16.
SCALP missiles are the equivalent of the British Storm Shadows, with a range of up to 250 kilometers. Macron first agreed to transfer SCALP missiles to Ukraine in July 2023, at the NATO summit in Vilnius.
Macron promised to deliver the weapons and also to personally visit Kyiv in February.
“We will deliver way more material and we will help Ukraine with its needs, to defend its sky. I will myself go in February to Ukraine," Macron said.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Jan. 14 that his office was preparing to announce "good news" related to air defense, though he did not provide details.
Macron's announcement follows a series of intense Russian aerial attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine. Russia's strikes against Ukrainian energy infrastructure and residential neighborhoods have increased in the cold season, following a pattern established in winter 2022-2023.
Ukraine has previously used Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles to strike valuable Russian military targets in occupied Crimea. In October, Kyiv received its first delivery of U.S.-made Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), which boast a range of 300 kilometers.
National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said on Oct. 24 that ATACMS "exceeded all expectations."
The Zelensky administration has also pushed Germany to transfer Taurus missiles, which can reach targets up to 500 kilometers away. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has consistently refused Kyiv's request, fearing escalation with Russia.
A coalition of Germany's opposition parties will call for a vote on Taurus deliveries to Ukraine in the Bundestag on Jan. 17.
France has provided Ukraine with military aid worth 3.2 billion euros ($3.5 billion), according to a report from the French parliament published in November 2023. France also plans to host an "artillery coalition" conference in Paris later in January to strengthen the Ukrainian military.
Zelensky met with French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne in Kyiv on Jan. 13 to discuss Ukraine's ongoing defense needs.