French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu (right) and his Armenian counterpart Suren Papikyan sign an agreement in Paris, October 23, 2023

PARIS — Armenia and France have signed a deal on defense cooperation.

Speaking to reporters, French Ministry of the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu said Armenia would buy three Ground Master 200 (GM200) radar systems from the French defence group Thales, without providing financial details.

The system, already used in Ukraine, is known for its “remarkable detection capabilities”, Lecornu said at a press conference alongside Armenian Defence Minister Suren Papikyan.

The ministers also signed a letter of intent for Armenia’s purchase of air defence systems involving Thales and European missile maker MBDA, a spokeswoman for Lecornu told AFP.

Lecornu said the letter of intent involved the purchase of “Mistral-type” equipment, referring to a short-range air defence missile system.

“Detection only makes sense if it is accompanied by intervention and interception modules for attacks coming from the sky,” Lecornu said.

The signing ceremony was followed by a meeting between the Defense Ministers of the countries. Attending the meeting were Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to France Hasmik Tolmajyan and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Armenia Olivier Decottignies. Issues related to the Armenian-French cooperation in the defense field and regional security were discussed.

The progress of implementation of the agreements reached during discussions held in Paris in September 2022, and June 2023 were summarized. The Ministers outlined new opportunities for the development of cooperation, which include acquisition of defense systems, military education, training, exchange of experience and other areas of mutual interest.

 

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