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Moldova bolsters air defenses with French radar system

by Abbey Fenbert December 21, 2023 2:12 AM 2 min read
Workers unload a delivery of the French Ground Master 200 radar system in Moldova on Dec. 20, 2023. (Moldovan Defense Ministry)
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Moldova has received a French airspace monitoring system, purchased to help the country ramp up its air defenses as Russia's war against Ukraine continues, the Moldovan Defense Ministry announced Dec. 20.

The full-scale invasion of Ukraine stoked Chisinau's fears of increased Russian aggression, and Russian missiles launched from the Black Sea have violated Moldovan airspace.

The Moldovan government bought  the Ground Master 200 (GM 200) radar system in hopes of modernizing its air defense capabilities. Produced by the French company Thales, the GM 200 can monitor aircraft from a distance of up to 250 kilometers.

Moldovan Defense Minister Anatolie Nosatyi said the system was integral to air security and public safety.

"The latest incidents of violation of our country's airspace have brought to the authorities' attention the urgent need to strengthen Moldova's defense capabilities," Nosatyi said.

"This system, which will monitor the country's entire airspace, will complete the series of measures taken to equip the National Army to international standards."

Nosatyi thanked Moldova's leadership, external partners, and France for their work to improve the country's defense capacity.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu has claimed that Russia attempted to overthrow her government in a coup, and that Russia continues to interfere in Moldovan politics. Russian troops currently occupy the breakaway region of Transnistria, recognized as Moldovan territory under international law.  

Belgian army chief Michel Hofman told local media on Dec. 19 that Russia's ambitions would not end with Ukraine, and that Moldova could be the next target.

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