French military aid to Ukraine ranges from air defense and artillery to light armored vehicles.
Here is the list of major French-supplied air defense systems to Ukraine.
Medium range (5th layer).
SAMP/T that stands for Surface-to-Air Medium-Range/Land-based (Sol-Air Moyenne-Portée/Terrestre in French). It’s made by Thales Group and is a major joint contribution of France and Italy to NATO’s tactical ballistic missile defense capability. According to Thales, the French Air Force owns 7 systems while the Italian Army owns 3 systems.
Missiles can be up to 5 meter long. SAMP/T protects against aircraft and all kinds of sophisticated missiles such as tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, glide bombs, radar detecting missiles, etc.
Short range (2nd layer).
Crotale is another masterpiece by Thales Group. It means “rattlesnake” in English because its flying trajectory reminds of a snake. It is a developed to intercept airborne weapons and aircraft, ranged from cruise or anti-ship missiles to helicopters, UAVs or low-flying high-performance fighter aircraft. Ukraine got a mobile land-based version (but it can be installed on a towed trailer, a ship, and so on). Ukraine operates two Crotale batteries.
Short range, portable (1st layer).
MisTrAL is transportable lightweight anti-air missile (Missile Transportable Anti-aérien Léger in French). It is used by all branches of the army rather than the air defense units. Ukrainian soldiers were trained to use it just before the full-scale Russian invasion.
Operated by a crew of two, Mistral weighs just 20 kg and has the length of 1.9 m.
It’s a heat-seeking missile with warhead consisting of tungsten balls that pierce the target as shrapnel.
Mistral is produced by MBDA France. MBDA is a truly global corporation that has three major aerospace shareholders: Airbus (France/Europe), BAE Systems (UK), and Leonardo Finmeccanica (Italy).
For the overall support of Ukraine by the French people and president Emmanuel Macron, see Weimar Triangle summit: 1991 vs. 2023.