UK to send air defense missiles to Ukraine — RT World News
The UK will supply Ukraine with advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs) to help the country « defend its skies », UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said. The announcement follows large-scale Russian strikes against Ukrainian military targets and infrastructure earlier this week.
« I have authorized the supply of AMRAAM anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine », Wallace said Thursday in a statement. « These weapons will help Ukraine defend its skies against attack and bolster its overall missile defense alongside the US NASAMS, » he added.
Dozens of missiles are expected to be delivered to Ukraine in the coming weeks, according to Sky News.
London has provided £2.3 billion (about $2.5 billion) in military aid to kyiv since the conflict with Moscow began in late February, but this is the first time it will provide any type of powerful armament.
AMRAAM’s launchers will not come from the UK, as the missiles are expected to be fired from National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) supplied by the US.
Hundreds of additional air defense missiles of other types will also be sent to Ukraine along with more aerial drones and 18 howitzers, according to Britain.
The United States had earlier pledged eight NASAMSs, with the White House saying on Wednesday that it plans to deliver two such launchers. « as soon as we can. »
The statement follows heavy Russian missile strikes on Ukraine on Monday and Tuesday. Moscow said they were responding to « terrorist tactics » employed by Kyiv, which included attempts to sabotage the Kursk nuclear power plant and the TurkStream gas pipeline as well as the Crimean Bridge bombing on Saturday.
The Russian Defense Ministry said its missiles hit all intended targets and that all objectives of the operation were achieved. According to Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin, 70 facilities in Ukraine’s energy infrastructure were affected, with the country losing 50% of its generation capacity. Ukraine’s energy minister confirmed that 30% of the country’s energy infrastructure was damaged by the missile barrage.
After the strikes, President Zelensky posted on Twitter that “Air defense is currently the number one priority of our defense cooperation” with foreign partners.
kyiv insists it needs US air defenses and long-range missiles – reports
On Wednesday, Ukraine said the first unit of Germany’s state-of-the-art IRIS-T air defense system had arrived. Berlin has promised four to Kyiv, with the remaining three to be shipped next year.
Moscow has long condemned arms shipments to Ukraine from the US, EU, UK and some other countries, arguing they have only prolonged fighting and increased the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.
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