France, Germany, and Poland to jointly procure long-range precision weapons

Source: Reuters, Defence Industry Europe

France, Germany, and Poland have announced plans to collaborate on the procurement of longer-range precision weapons. This decision, revealed on Monday, aims to address gaps in European arsenals that have been highlighted by Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine.

 

The defence ministers from the three nations—Germany’s Boris Pistorius, France’s Sebastien Lecornu, and Poland’s Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz—met in Paris to discuss the establishment of a mechanism for acquiring “deep precision strike weapons,” including cruise missiles. This initiative could potentially be expanded to include other European countries.

“Deep precision strike weapons are a serious capability gap in Europe,” stated Pistorius. The meeting marked the first session of the Weimar Triangle at the defence minister level since 2015. Pistorius emphasized the goal of forming a coalition of like-minded European countries to address this gap by the NATO summit in Washington, scheduled for July. The first concrete step will be the signing of a letter of intent at the summit.

Lecornu highlighted that the letter would evaluate the long-range capabilities currently available from various countries and companies. Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles fly low and are more difficult to detect by radar, offering a strategic advantage.

 

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Europe’s current cruise missile stocks are largely outdated and costly, including Britain’s Storm Shadow, France’s Scalp, and Germany’s Taurus. The issue of supplying these weapons to Ukraine has been contentious, with concerns that European-sourced missiles used against targets deep within Russian territory could escalate the conflict. While Berlin has resisted calls to send the Taurus to Ukraine, London and Paris have provided Kyiv with their cruise missiles.

In a recent development, France committed in January to increasing deliveries of the Scalp missile, capable of traveling 250 kilometers, acknowledging that these could be used against Russian targets.

 

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