Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
US to Redirect Air Defense to Ukraine  06/21 06:15

   The White House announced Thursday that it will rush delivery of air defense 
interceptor missiles to Ukraine by redirecting planned shipments to other 
allied nations, as Washington scrambles to counter increased Russian attacks on 
Ukrainian energy infrastructure.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House announced Thursday that it will rush 
delivery of air defense interceptor missiles to Ukraine by redirecting planned 
shipments to other allied nations, as Washington scrambles to counter increased 
Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.

   National security spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. had taken the 
"difficult but necessary decision to reprioritize near-term planned deliveries 
of foreign military sales to other countries," though he wouldn't say which 
nations would be affected or how many.

   "Right now, we know that Ukraine urgently needs these additional 
capabilities," Kirby said on a call with reporters, adding, "Obviously more is 
needed, and it's needed now."

   The announcement comes after President Joe Biden, during last week's Group 
of Seven meeting in Italy, suggested such action might be necessary, saying, 
"We've let it be known for those countries that are expecting, from us, air 
defense systems in the future, that they're going to have to wait."

   "Everything we have is going to go to Ukraine until their needs are met," 
Biden said. "And then we will make good on the commitments we made to other 
countries."

   The U.S. was already sending Ukraine a consistent stream of interceptors for 
its air defense systems, including for the Patriot missile batteries and the 
National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS. But Kirby said 
that more was urgently needed as Russia's military has accelerated missile and 
drone attacks against cities and infrastructure centers "trying to destroy 
Ukraine's energy system ahead of this winter."

   Russia has resumed its aerial pounding of Ukraine's power grid while Kyiv's 
forces are again targeting Russian oil facilities with drone strikes, as each 
side seeks to hinder the other's ability to continue fighting.

   The number of interceptors to be sent isn't clear but Kirby said it could 
involve "hundreds" of Patriot interceptor missiles.

   Kirby said Ukraine will get prioritized shipments as soon as systems roll 
off assembly lines for the next about 16 months, and those will provide the 
country with "enough capability" during that period.

   After that, he said, "Countries that have been asked to delay will start to 
get" deliveries of systems they had already ordered.

   Kirby said the move means "a range of countries" will face delays in 
receiving missile systems that are being diverted to Ukraine but that the shift 
would not affect Taiwan or what it "continues to need and receive for 
self-defense" in the face of potential threats from China.

   Asked to describe how other countries reacted to the shift, Kirby said they 
were "broadly understanding of it."

   "They know how serious the need is in Ukraine," he said.

 
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN