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Macron open to Ukraine using French missiles to strike Russian military targets

French President Emmanuel Macron announced he was ready to authorize Ukraine to strike military targets on Russian territory using weapons delivered by France. 

The change of strategy was announced during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on May 28, 2024, during Macron’s state visit to Germany 

“We must allow [the Ukrainians] to neutralize the military sites from which the missiles are fired, basically, the military sites from which Ukraine is attacked,” Macron said, as reported by Le Monde. “But we must not allow other targets in Russia and obviously civilian capabilities to be hit.” 

France and the United Kingdom supplied Ukraine with SCALP-EG/Storm Shadow cruise missiles during the summer of 2023. The British-French weapon was developed in the 1990s by Matra and British Aerospace and is now manufactured by the European missile maker MBDA.  

The SCALP-EG/Storm Shadow cruise missile has a maximum range of 560 kilometers (350 miles), but the export models delivered are modified to operate at a reduced range of 250 kilometers (155 miles).  

A SCALP Storm Shadow cruise missile at the Paris Air Show 2023. (Credit: Clement Charpentreau / AeroTime)

The adjustment was in line with the assurances previously provided to the United Kingdom and France by Ukrainian officials, who have affirmed that the missiles would not be employed to target deep into Russian territory and would be used exclusively for operations within Ukraine’s sovereign territory. 

Macron justified the removal of this limitation by noting changes in Russian tactics, highlighting that Moscow is now bombing Kharkiv and its surroundings from its territory rather than from occupied areas. 

So far, Ukraine has relied on its own capabilities to attack targets in Russia. On April 2, 2024, a strike was carried out on a factory complex in Alabuga, Tatarstan, situated more than 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) away from Ukrainian soil.  

To do so, the Ukrainian military converted an Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat ultralight aircraft to be remotely controlled and fitted with an explosive charge. The aircraft has a range of about 1,100 km (684 miles), which exceeds the distance from Eastern Ukraine to the Alabuga SEZ. It is unclear where the aircraft was launched from and whether it was modified to increase its range. 

The post Macron open to Ukraine using French missiles to strike Russian military targets appeared first on AeroTime.

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