France to ditch military equipment despite massive new armed forces investment | World | News

will ditch some of its weapon systems despite investing “significant funds” in developing its standing army, the country’s defence minister has said.

Sébastien Lecornu recently announced the French government would pour €413billion (£353billion) into its , with the minister putting renewed attention on the military following the “significant” investment.

The money will go towards transforming the army to meet the “perils” of the century and be spent primarily on drones and military intelligence, where officials have said the exposed gaps.

But despite the increased funding, France plans to decommission and offload some of its military stock.

The stock that would otherwise be thrown away will go to aid forces in , the ministry has said.

The head of the French defence agency told French publication Var-Matin that currently operational equipment will be decommissioned and sent east.

He said: “As we reinvest significant funds in our army according to the plan amounting to 413 billion euros for the years 2024 to 2030, we have a lot of equipment that is still operational and will be decommissioned.

“Instead of throwing it away or giving it to other countries, we are giving it to the Ukrainian army.”

Mr Lecornu did not clarify what would be sent to Ukraine, and decommissioned equipment can include anything the French army decides it no longer needs.

The move follows criticism that France, despite being the third-largest arms exporter in Europe, has failed to assist Kyiv as much as it could.

The country has sent supplies of truck-mounted howitzers and AMX-10 RC tank destroyers in a slow process initiated in mid-2022.

Officials have said that chronic under-investment in the armed forces and activity in Africa have prevented the country from sending additional supplies.

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