155-milimeter CAESAR self-propelled howitzer

PARIS — France will deliver a total of 50 armored personnel carriers (APCs) to Armenia as part of growing military ties between the two nations, according to French lawmakers.

The first batch of over two dozen Bastion vehicles have arrived in Armenia.he Defense Ministry declined to explicitly confirm the delivery.

The APCs manufactured by the French company Arquus were not part of defense contracts signed by French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and his Armenian counterpart Suren Papikyan during the latter’s visit to Paris in late October.

Thales-made GM 200 radars

One of those deal calls for Armenia’s purchase of three Thales-made GM 200 radars and Mistral 3 air defense systems from the French defense group Thales. Lecornu and Papikyan also signed a “letter of intent” on the future delivery of Mistral short-range surface-to-air missiles.

In a joint report on a French budgetary bill, two members of France’s Senate revealed that “24 Bastion-type armored vehicles … are being delivered to Armenia and they should be joined by 26 other vehicles of the same type currently in production.”

The senators, Hugues Saury and Helene Conway-Mouret, said French arms supplies to Armenia should not be confined to “defensive” equipment.

Mistral 3 air defense system

“This distinction between defensive and offensive weapons is not very practical in reality, as has been demonstrated by the war in Ukraine. Let us not repeat the same mistakes by belatedly delivering equipment that could be necessary right from the beginning,” says their report submitted to the French upper house of parliament late last month.

Saury and Conway-Mouret indicated in this regard that Yerevan wants to acquire French artillery systems as well. Paris should therefore consider providing 155-milimeter CAESAR self-propelled howitzers to the Armenian military, they said.

The document mentions that Armenia will receive a total of 50 Arquus Bastion armored personnel carriers. 24 of these vehicles are already being shipped, while the rest are currently in production.

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