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UK announces major air defence military aid package for Ukraine.

| 2023

A new defense aid package for Ukraine, consisting of essential air defense capabilities, was announced on June 13, 2023, at a meeting of defense ministers from the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF). The equipment, valued at £92 million, is set to be procured in the upcoming months via the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU) to fortify Ukraine's defense of its critical national infrastructure, civilians, and frontline personnel. The package includes radars to shield from random Russian strikes, along with guns and a considerable amount of ammunition.
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Ukrainian Stormer HVM air defense armored vehicle donated by the United Kingdom. (Picture source Wikimedia)

The announcement was made during a meeting of defense ministers from the ten JEF nations in Amsterdam, which the UK's Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace, attended. The ministers discussed their sustained support for Ukraine and mutual security interests, with a particular emphasis on safeguarding underwater and offshore infrastructure. The meeting concluded with a joint agreement to enhance cooperation in this domain, including intelligence sharing.

Wallace emphasized that the JEF, comprising like-minded nations devoted to maintaining security and stability in Northern Europe and continued support for Ukraine, had contributed an additional £250 million to the IFU. Through the fund, they are offering an air defense package to help Ukraine safeguard its critical national infrastructure and resist indiscriminate Russian air attacks. The IFU uses financial contributions from international partners to secure priority military aid for Ukraine, ensuring a steady supply of military support through 2023 and beyond.

The IFU has accumulated more than £520m following contributions from the UK, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and Lithuania. The UK's latest contribution of £250m, discussed when the Prime Minister met President Zelenskyy in Moldova earlier this month, brings the total pledged by all contributing nations to £770m.

This funding for air defense marks the beginning of five expected support packages in the IFU's second procurement round. The first procurement round led to the selection of ten proposals out of hundreds, including a consignment of reconnaissance and strike drones set to arrive in Ukraine this summer.

During his Amsterdam visit, Wallace also held bilateral discussions with defense ministers from Estonia, Sweden, and the Netherlands about ongoing shared security commitments.

The JEF consists of ten nations—Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom—all sharing common values, purpose, and a focus on security and stability in the High North, North Atlantic, and Baltic Sea region. The JEF maintains a ready military force that conducts integrated activities across northern Europe, demonstrating solidarity, capability, and resolve for security and stability in its core regions.

As per the information received from our source, the United Kingdom has been actively supplying various air defense systems and ammunition to support Ukraine. The deliveries commenced in April 2022 with six Stormer HVMs. Additionally, they supplied more than 600 Brimstone 1 Surface-To-Surface Missiles in May 2022, followed by a delivery of Brimstone 2 missiles in November 2022. It's anticipated that the UK will continue to provide such crucial support.

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