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France offers low-key support for Ukrainian cause

1st April 2022 - 16:13 GMT | by Jean-Marc Tanguy in Toulon

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French Rafales fly lengthy missions to patrol the skies over Poland. (Photo: JM Tanguy)

France has been less vocal than other European countries in providing military aid to embattled Ukraine, although it has reacted swiftly to deploy ground, air and sea assets to protect NATO allies.

While other European governments have been quick to highlight their efforts to aid Ukraine with defence equipment shipments, France has been supportive but relatively low-key amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

France reacted very quickly in other ways to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. From the outset (24 February) it deployed fighter patrols supported by A330 MRTT Phénix refuelling aircraft.

One or two NATO patrols with Rafale occur on a daily basis over Poland; these flights last eight hours and the Rafale carries four MICA missiles (two guided by active radar and two IR-guided) plus two Meteor missiles guided by

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