The United Kingdom will be sending some 1,000 additional surface to air missiles to Ukraine to help counter the Russian threat to Ukrainian infrastructure.
The country’s defense secretary Ben Wallace announced that the delivery of additional missiles would be completed “soon.”
The defense ministry statement does not reveal what type of missiles is being sent to Ukraine, but it does come a month after the UK announced the transfer of AMRAAM missiles to be employed by the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) that is being provided by the United States. The Netherlands also promised to send AMRAAMs for Ukraine to be employed by NASAMS.
Earlier this week, Ukraine’s defense ministry confirmed it received the first NASAMS and Aspide air defense systems. Defense minister Oleksii Reznikov specifically thanked Norway, Spain and the US for the deliveries.
The UK defense ministry said the latest delivery followed Ukrainian requests for more air defense capabilities. The missiles will play a vital role in the provision of air defence for Ukraine and the protection of its critical infrastructure which is being continually targeted by Russia.
As explained by the defense ministry, the newest tranche of missiles can be used in conjunction with existing Armed Forces of Ukraine capabilities. The equipment consists of launchers and missiles and is capable of shooting down air targets, including Russian drones and cruise missiles.
“This commitment of hundreds more surface to air missiles continues our defensive support for Ukraine against Russian aggression – and will help Ukraine counter the threat from illegal targeting of critical national infrastructure,” UK defense secretary Ben Wallace said.
The announcement comes as Wallace visited two training sites where over 7,400 Ukrainian recruits have been trained by UK forces alongside eight partner nations.
At the sites being used for training, the defense secretary welcomed the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday morning, and his counterparts from the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) nations in the afternoon, some of whom were able to see their own military personnel conducting the training.
Currently 1,900 Ukrainian recruits are in the UK taking part in the training programme and will soon return to their home country. When they complete the training, they are provided with items including combat clothing, body armour and ear defence, waterproofs and sleeping bags.
Recruits are also issued with a fully stocked individual first aid kit after learning how to use tourniquets, field dressings and chest seals during training. Recruits leaving the UK will now be provided with extreme cold weather kits, announced by the Prime Minister on Tuesday, including 25,000 set of extreme cold weather clothing, 20,000 sleeping bags and 150 insulated tents.
The announcement comes in response to Ukrainian requests for more cold weather equipment. Ukraine’s troops continue to battle to liberate their country from Russian forces as winter rapidly approaches, when temperatures can sink to minus 20°C and below in parts of the country.
Heavy duty sleeping bags and roll mats, combined with heated accommodation and personal winter clothing, will help to prevent cold-related injuries and ensure troops can operate effectively and efficiently.