12,000 French Rifles For Ukraine

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
VCD15 (Verney-Carron/Lebel)

French arms manufacturer Verney-Carron, through its defense brand Lebel, has signed a framework contract with Ukrspecexport, a Ukrainian state-owned arms trading company, for a substantial number of small arms. The contract covers carbines, precision rifles and 40mm grenade launchers.

VCD10 (Verney-Carron/Lebel)

The contract is worth 36 million Euros ($38.5 million) and includes 10,000 assault rifles, 2,000 precision rifles and 400 grenade launchers. The contract will need to be funded from Ukrainian and French sources with initial delivery scheduled for early 2024, with delivery to be spread over the next 10 months.

VCD15 (Verney-Carron/Lebel)

The contract will likely see the delivery of Verney-Carron’s VCD15, an AR-15 pattern rifle available in various configurations and the VCD10, a precision AR-10 pattern rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm, while the 400 grenade launchers will likely be the compact LP40, a 40x46mm standalone launcher.

LP40 (Verney-Carron/Lebel)

Here’s the announcement in full (machine translated):

CYBERGUN, a global player in recreational shooting, is very proud to announce that its subsidiary VERNEY-CARRON, the oldest French arms manufacturer, has signed a framework contract with the Ukrainian state company Ukrspecexport for a record amount of 36M EUR.

This framework contract provides for the supply by VERNEY-CARRON of 10,000 assault rifles, 2,000 precision rifles and 400 grenade launchers. It demonstrates the continued strengthening of bilateral relations between France and Ukraine in terms of defense cooperation and the capacity of players in the French arms industry to serve this cooperation.

The execution of this framework contract is subject to the establishment of the necessary financing, which may be provided by Ukrainian and French funds, within the framework of an agreement between the Ukrainian State and the support fund for Ukraine. VERNEY-CARRON is committed to working in close collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure the completion of this transaction within the agreed deadlines and is expected to welcome a Ukrainian delegation to its Saint-Etienne production site in the coming weeks.

Deliveries of qualification batches are planned for early 2024. The first mass deliveries are planned 6 months after execution of the framework contract, subject to VERNEY-CARRON obtaining the necessary import-export authorizations between France and Ukraine in the area of arms. The delivery process will be spread over 10 months, allowing VERNEY-CARRON to adapt its production tool to the volumes committed.

Hugo BRUGIERE, CEO of CYBERGUN and representative of VERNEY-CARRON Développement, manager, declares: “I would like, on behalf of all the VERNEY-CARRON and CYBERGUN teams, to express my deep gratitude to the Ministry of the Armed Forces, Mr. deputy for Loire Quentin BATAILLON, Mr. deputy for Rhône Thomas GASSILLOUD, President of the Commission for National Defense and the Armed Forces, the Directorate General of Armaments (DA) and all the State services which have contributed significantly to the conclusion of this historic agreement. This collaboration demonstrates the commitment of the VERNEY-CARRON and CYBERGUN companies to international security and cooperation between nations.

More on Verney-Carron/Lebel here – www.lebel.eu/en/defense

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: TheFirearmBlog.com & Overt Defense.com. Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. Matt is also runs The Armourer's Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms. Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news. Reach Matt at: matt@thefirearmblog.com

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  • Xkavar Smith Xkavar Smith on Nov 15, 2023

    Heh. I remember in 2016 that Verney-Carron was disqualified from the French rifle trials because they couldn't be expected to produce above a certain amount of rifles.

    Eight years later, and now they're directly supplying the Ukrainian military. How times change.

    • Uncle Yar Uncle Yar on Nov 15, 2023

      @Xkavar Smith It's enough for a brigade or two, and considering the circumstances, why not.

  • Mike Mike on Nov 16, 2023

    The Moroccan special forces use these M4 clones.