Macron visits military sites and touts weapons production

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PARIS (AP) — In a display of France’s military prowess, President Emmanuel Macron visited a Caesar cannon firing range and missile testing facility on Thursday.

The presidential Elysee Palace said the presidential visit to the Directorate General of Armaments test center and to see ammunition manufacturing activities at the Nexter Arrowtech site – both in the Cher region of the center of France – aims to remind military manufacturers of the objectives of producing enough, faster and at controlled prices.

He also visited the Bourges military preparatory school alongside Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu.

It comes four months after Macron outlined the need to adapt the French military to new conditions amid war in Europe.

In June, the French leader ordered his ministers of the armies to re-evaluate military strategy and the manufacture of weapons because of “this high-intensity war which has returned to European soil”. He said France needed to increase its military capability and speed.

The rhetoric and Macron’s visit to Cher highlights the dilemma for many NATO members, who have sent billions of dollars worth of arms to Ukraine to support the war effort – but are well aware of the need to prepare themselves if Russia targets them next.

Arms shortages across Europe, including in France, could force tough choices on Ukraine’s allies.

Earlier this month, France promised air defense systems to protect Ukrainian cities against drone strikes, as well as an expanded training program for Ukrainian soldiers, as it seeks to crack perceptions according to Macron’s centrist government was slow to support Ukraine militarily against the Russian invasion.

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Follow all AP stories on the impact of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

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