France, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia and Hungary want to buy French Mistral air defense systems, Reuters reported. A source familiar with the matter said the letter of intent was signed at the start of a meeting of defense ministers in Paris on Monday.
Five European countries – France, BelgiumCyprus, Estonia and Hungary – signed a letter of intent regarding the joint acquisition of French Mistral air defense systems, Reuters reported on Monday, citing a source familiar with the matter.
The source said the letter was signed at the start of a meeting of defense ministers in Paris to coordinate European efforts to increase air defense capabilities on the continent after Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
The letter of intent shows progress France in persuading some EU allies to buy European systems instead of non-continental ones, which they advocate Germany as part of its European Sky Shield initiative.
NATO countries rely on American and Israeli systems
Germany drew criticism from France in October when it announced plans to purchase systems partly from the US and Israel, along with 14 NATO allies. Since then, the group of these countries has grown to 17, including the UK and several Eastern European countries that have purchased military equipment from the US.
The Mistral is a French very short-range anti-aircraft missile system.
Main photo source: Alexandre MARCHI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images