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France may requisition or force prioritize arms factories for faster Ukraine output

With stocks strained, France’s defense chief said he may requisition arms makers’ capacity or dictate priorities to speed up production for Ukraine’s battlefield demands.
France to manufacture 78 Caesar howitzers for Ukraine - Defense Minister
French and Ukrainian Ministers of Defense Sébastien Lecornu and Rustem Umerov. Photo:
France may requisition or force prioritize arms factories for faster Ukraine output

France’s defense minister issued a stark warning that he is prepared to use his legal powers to compel the country’s arms manufacturers to dramatically increase production of weapons and munitions desperately needed for Ukraine’s battlefield against Russia’s invasion.

France is among Ukraine’s strong supporters in its war against Russia’s aggression. The total value of French military equipment delivered to Ukraine is €2.615 billion, with an additional contribution of €1.2 billion to the European Peace Facility (EPF). In total, this amounts to over €3.8 billion between 24 February 2022, and 31 December 2023.

On 26 March, French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said he was prepared to use his powers to requisition industrial capacities or impose priorities on weapon makers to speed up the production of arms and shells needed on the battlefield in Ukraine and elsewhere, according to Reuters.

Speaking at a news conference, Sebastien Lecornu stated, that “these questions… are clearly on the table” when asked if he would requisition industrial capacity or impose priorities on orders to speed up arms output. He cited strains on stocks and production lines for key systems like anti-air missiles and artillery shells.

Lecornu specified that he could requisition existing stockpiles or directly tell companies like MBDA, producer of the Aster missile, to give precedence to certain orders over others to meet urgent operational needs in Ukraine and other conflict zones.

The defense chief admitted that delays in France’s defense industrial base have caused the country to “miss out on certain contracts with Eastern European countries for whom the criterion of delivery deadlines is more important than the price.” Foreign demand is skyrocketing, especially for the anti-air, artillery, and radar capabilities being utilized in Ukraine.

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