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25 July, 2024
 
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France, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, and Hungary collaborate on air defense systems

The joint purchase of the Mistral Air Defense System by these 5 states marks a shift toward home-grown European solutions and coordinating air defense efforts post-Ukraine crisis

Source: Reuters

France, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia and Hungary signed a letter of intent for the joint purchase of the French Mistral air defense systems, two sources aware of the matter said on Monday.

The deal was a sign France was making progress in convincing some of its European allies to look at home-grown, Made in Europe systems, instead of procuring from outside Europe, as Germany has advocated under its so-called European Sky Shield initiative

The sources said the letter was signed at the start of the defense ministers meeting in Paris which is aimed at coordinating European efforts to enhance air defense capabilities across the continent after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Germany upset France last October when it announced a plan with 14 NATO allies to purchase systems that were partly from the U.S. and Israel, in a drive to protect allied territory from missile attacks following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Since then some 17 countries, including the Baltic states, Britain and several eastern European powers, which have traditionally turned to the United States for military hardware, have now signed up.

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Cyprus  |  France  |  defense

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