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France's Thales signs military cooperation deals with Ukraine

by Kateryna Hodunova June 19, 2024 11:32 PM 2 min read
A protester holds Ukrainian and French flags in his hand during a demonstration in front of the Russian consulate in Marseille, France, on Feb. 25, 2023. (Gerard Bottino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian Defense Industry, a state-owned enterprise, has signed three agreements with the French defense company Thales, according to a statement published on Thales's website on June 19.

The deals were signed under the aegis of the French Armed Forces Ministry and Ukraine's Strategic Industries Ministry, the statement read.

One of the agreements announces an intention to create a joint venture in Ukraine to boost the delivery of military gear in the country. The deal includes electronic warfare, tactical communications equipment, air defense systems, and radars.

Thales also pledges to provide extensive maintenance, testing, and specialized training, specifically in electronic warfare, according to the second agreement. It aims to develop local maintenance capability within Ukraine, as well as ensure its "best operational availability."

A third agreement was signed by Thales and the Ukrainian company FRDM, which specializes in unmanned aerial vehicles(UAV) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV),

The deal stipulates co-developing and manufacturing "an unmanned aircraft system capable of carrying and releasing munitions."

"Thales is a long-standing partner to the Ukrainian forces, collaborating for more than 10 years, first in electronic warfare and then expanding to a broad range of programs," Pascale Sourisse, the company's senior executive vice president, said.

"Moving forward, they (the agreements) also demonstrate our commitment, through collaboration with leading Ukrainian players and suppliers, to establish a longer-term foothold in Ukraine and bolster the country's local defense industry."

France has backed Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 by sending military equipment and providing financial aid.

Paris also wants to establish a coalition of countries to send military instructors to Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron said on June 7.

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