France, Italy ready to deliver SAMP/T anti-missile system to Ukraine

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov visits Paris
French Armies Minister Sebastien Lecornu reviews a guard of honour during an official visit of the welcomes the Ukrainian Defence minister at the Hotel de Brienne, the French Ministry of Armed Forces, in Paris on January 31, 2023. JULIE SEBADELHA/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS, Feb 3 (Reuters) - France and Italy have finalised technical talks for the joint delivery of a SAMP/T-MAMBA air defence system to Ukraine in spring 2023, the French Defence Ministry said.

"This will allow Ukraine to defend itself against Russian drones, missiles and plane attacks, through the coverage of a significant part of the Ukrainian territory," a ministry statement said after a call between French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and his Italian counterpart Guido Crosetto.

The system can track dozens of targets and intercept 10 at once. It is the only European-made system that can intercept ballistic missiles.

Ukraine has asked its Western allies for more air defence systems and specifically requested the SAMP/T, known as Mamba, in November. Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Grant McCool

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