On December 30, 2022, the British Ministry of Defense (DoD) announced the donation to Ukraine of more than 1,000 VALLON metal detectors and 100 bomb de-arming kits to Ukraine to help clear minefields and make safe reclaimed territory, civilian homes, and infrastructure.
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British soldiers from the Light Dragoons clear a path for their vehicle patrol by sweeping their Vallon Minehound VMR 3 mine detector along a path. (Picture source British MoD)
The deliveries are the latest in a continuous supply of support that the UK has been providing Ukraine throughout 2022 and which will continue in 2023. The UK has also recently provided a significant package of air defense systems, including more than 1,000 air anti-air missiles and 125 anti-aircraft guns, to defend Ukraine against Russian strikes on its cities and infrastructure.
The UK was the first country in Europe to send military aid to Ukraine, sending thousands of NLAW anti-tank missiles early in 2022. Since then, the RAF has flown over 240 flights to move thousands of tonnes of military aid from the UK and international partners, ranging from sophisticated missiles to clothing to support troops through the harsh winter. The UK continues to liaise with the government of Ukraine to ensure that future supplies meet the tactical demands of the conflict as it evolves.
In addition to providing military equipment, UK armed forces have trained thousands of personnel from the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). A major training program began in the UK in June, with UK personnel working alongside international partners to train new recruits in the basics of combat. Specialist training has also been conducted on equipment donated to Ukraine. In total, more than 11,000 AFU personnel were trained in the UK in 2022. This support is set to continue in the new year – with the support of international partners, the infantry training program now aims to train up to 20,000 AFU personnel in 2023.
VALLON can help troops breach minefields and clear safe routes on roads and paths. It can also help ensure that civilian infrastructure and houses are clear of explosive hazards, allowing people to safely return to their homes. The bomb de-arming kits, meanwhile, are designed to de-arm the fuze from unexploded Russian bombs, munitions, and improvised explosive devices. This counter-explosive ordnance equipment is some of the latest in a wide range of equipment that the UK has donated to Ukraine to support its fight against Russia’s illegal invasion.