French President Emmanuel Macron announced on January 16, 2024, that France is set to deliver a new round of weapons in support of Ukraine. The delivery includes 40 long-range SCALP-EG missiles and “hundreds of bombs”.
The SCALP-EG/Storm Shadow cruise missile is a British-French weapon developed in the 1990s by Matra and British Aerospace and is now manufactured by the European missile maker MBDA. This weapon can strike targets at a radius of up to 560 kilometers (350 miles).
Both France and the United Kingdom supplied Ukraine with these cruise missiles during the summer of 2023. They have since been used to target several strategic targets, including the Chonhar bridge that connects Crimea with Russian-held parts of the southern Kherson region, and the Sevastopol port, damaging several warships.
France will also deliver “hundreds” of AASM or HAMMER systems, a modular air-ground armament developed by Safran Electronics & Defense that can transform conventional bombs ranging from 250 to 1,000 kilograms (551 to 2,205 pounds) into guided projectiles with a range of up to 70 kilometers (about 43 miles).
Additionally, Macron disclosed that France is in the final stages of negotiating a security agreement with Ukraine. This decision follows a similar agreement on security cooperation signed between Ukraine and the United Kingdom on January 12, 2024.
Spanning over 10 years, the UK-Ukraine agreement includes comprehensive assistance for the protection and restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, active deterrence against potential military escalation or aggression by the Russian Federation, and support for Ukraine’s future integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. This support includes endorsing Ukraine’s reform plans and enhancing interoperability with NATO.
New Russian strikes on Ukraine overnight
The Ukrainian Air Force reported that it had intercepted 19 Iranian-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drones launched by Russia overnight on January 17, 2024. The anti-aircraft defense systems were activated in various regions, including Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kirovohrad, as communicated on Telegram.
In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city situated in the northeast near the border with Russia, a Russian S-300 missile strike resulted in one fatality and 17 injuries according to the morning report by Volodymyr Tymochko, the police chief of the region.