The United States is continuing to supply arms to Ukraine and will soon send a pair of sophisticated missile defense systems to its military as the country continues to defend itself against Russian forces.
The U.S. has promised to send Ukraine eight National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and will have two deployed to the country in the “very near future,” a senior defense official said this week.
“The United States has already provided 1,400 Stingers, which is short-range air defense, and our allies and partners have also provided considerable numbers of short-range air defense systems,” the official said during a background briefing on Monday. “The U.S. have also committed eight NASAMS and associated munitions, and two of those will be in Ukraine in the very near future, with six more to be provided later.”
The NASAMS were included in the latest $275 million security assistance package the Department of Defense was approved to send to Ukraine, the 24th military equipment package since August 2021.
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The systems are “vital to protect Ukrainian infrastructure,” the official said.
“We also have committed to a suite of counter-unmanned aerial systems, including the VAMPIRE system and other radar systems, since we know that the — the UAS threat is also a — a serious threat right now,” the defense official added. “The U.S. also helped support Slovakia’s donation of an S-300 system earlier in the war.”
At the briefing, the defense official said other countries were intending to supply munitions for the NASAMS, which is the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Air Forces and other military personnel continue to do a “great job” protecting vital structures as, on Monday alone, they shot down 45 cruise missiles.
“I thank all Air Forces Commands for this result: South, North, East and West, as well as all units of the Defense Forces involved in protecting our skies,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. “Plus, four more Russian helicopters were shot down today: three attack Ka-52 and one Mi-8.”
He added: “Every new Russian attack on our civilian targets only makes the international consensus on Russia’s liability easier and closer. And the fragments of the Russian rocket that fell on the territory of Moldova only remind us how important it is to protect ourselves from this evil together – from racism, which recognizes neither state borders nor human values.”
Ukraine, with assistance from international allies, has battled against Russia since its forces first invaded on Feb. 24, 2022.