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US will supply Ukraine with RIM-7 SeaSparrow surface-to-air missiles.

| 2023

The United States government will soon announce a new military aid package for Ukraine worth $3.8 billion including for the first time RIM-7 SeaSparrow, a radar-guided, surface-to-air missile. This missile was designed primarily for air defense against anti-ship missiles.
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Launcher unit of the land version of the SeaSparrow surface-to-air missile. (Picture source Wikimedia)

Citing information published by the "Politico" website on January 5, 2023, Ukraine could receive a land version of the SeaSparrow which is also in service with the Taiwanese armed forces. Indeed, the Sea Sparrow is normally used by Navy Ships. It was developed in the early 1970s to provide self-defense capability for the U.S. and other NATO surface combatants.

Since January 2021, the United States has invested approximately $20 billion in security assistance to demonstrate our enduring and steadfast commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This includes approximately $21.3 billion since Russia’s launched its premeditated, unprovoked, and brutal war against Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Since 2014, the United States has provided approximately $24 billion in security assistance for training and equipment to help Ukraine preserve its territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO.

As of September 9, 2022, nearly 50 Allies and partner countries have provided security assistance to Ukraine. Among their many contributions to Ukraine, Allies and partners have delivered 10 long-range Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 178 long-range artillery systems, nearly 100,000 rounds of long-range artillery ammunition, nearly 250,000 anti-tank munitions, 359 tanks, 629 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), 8,214 short-range air defense missiles, and 88 lethal UAVs. Since February 24, 2022, Allies and partners worldwide have provided or committed over $13 billion in security assistance.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the United States has already delivered or approved the supply to Ukraine of a wide of air defense and anti-tank missile systems including 1,500 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) anti-tank missiles, one PATRIOT air defense battery, Eight National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), missile for HAWK air defense system, four Avenger air defense missile systems, High-speed Anti-radiation missiles, and two harpoon coastal defense systems.

It was published that the United States would transfer Sea Sparrow missiles to Ukraine, modified to be launched from Russian-made 9K37 Buk NATO code-named SA-11 Gadfly, air defense missile system.

In 2012, the American company Raytheon had already proposed to Poland a modernization of Soviet-made 2K12 Kub NATO code-named SA-6 Gainful with the integration of Evolved SeaSparrow Missile container launchers on the tracked armored vehicle of the 2K12 Kub to replace the three original missiles mounted on the vehicle.

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SeaSparrow missile launcher containers mounted on Soviet-made SA-6 Gainful tracked chassis. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The SEASPARROW is a short-range, semi-active homing missile that makes flight corrections via radar uplinks. The missile provides reliable ship self-defense capability against a variety of air and surface threats, including high-speed, low-altitude anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs).

The United States also developed the ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile) RIM-162 which is an upgrade of the RIM-7 SeaSparrow. The missile, which can operate in all weather conditions, has a length of approximately 3.64 m, a diameter of 254 mm, and a weight of 280 kg.

The ESSM missile is equipped with an insensitive munition (IM)-compliant, annular blast fragmentation warhead, weighing 40.5 kg. It has a maximum firing range of around 50 km.

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The Buk-M1 Sa-11 Gadfly is a Russian-made mobile air defense missile system. (Picture source Vitaly Kuzmin)

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