France and Australia said on Monday that they would collaborate on a multi-million dollar project to produce “several thousand” artillery shells for Ukraine.
The announcement came as foreign and defense ministers of both countries were meeting in Paris.
“Several thousand 155-millimeter shells are going to be manufactured in common, with an unprecedented partnership between Australia and France,” said French defense minister Sébastien Lecornu during a press conference.
The French defense minister specified that Nexter — the French arms company — would be partnering with Australian companies which would be providing the powder for the shells.
“This forms part of the ongoing level of support that both France and Australia is providing Ukraine to make sure that Ukraine is able to stay in this conflict and be able to see it concluded on its own terms,” Australian defense minister Richard Marles added.
Neither minister would specify quantities beyond “several thousand” artillery shells but they indicated this would be a long-term collaboration.
More on artillery to Ukraine: CNN reported in early January that the US had moved some of the 300,000 155-millimeter shells that the US and Israel agreed would be transferred to Ukraine. In November, a US official told CNN that the US intended to buy 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition from South Korean arms manufacturers to provide to Ukraine.