France may requisition arms producers to amp up production to aid Ukraine

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French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu said on Tuesday he was prepared to use his powers to requisition industrial capacities or impose priorities to weapon makers to speed up production of arms and shells needed on the battlefield in Ukraine and elsewhere.

“These questions ... are clearly on the table”, Lecornu told a news conference, adding stocks and production lines were particularly strained with regard to anti-air missiles and artillery shells.

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Lecornu said he could requisition stocks or tell companies to give priority to certain orders, citing Aster missiles produced by MBDA as a potential case for such a move.

Foreign demand for French-produced arms was high, especially for anti-defense, artillery and radar systems exposed in Ukraine, Lecornu said, but the country’s defense industry is struggling to keep up.

“We have missed out on certain contracts with Eastern Europe countries for whom the criterion of delivery deadlines is more important than the price,” Lecornu said.

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