US will sell missile defense upgrades to Ukraine

The United States will sell Ukraine up to $138 million worth of equipment to maintain and upgrade its HAWK air defense systems to help defend against Russian drone and cruise missile attacks, a US State Department official told Reuters on Tuesday.

The US began shipping HAWK interceptor missiles to Ukraine in 2022 as an upgrade to the shoulder-launched Stinger air defense missile systems – a smaller, shorter-range system.

Since then, Ukraine has received several air defense systems, including the US-made Patriot system.

Tuesday’s emergency foreign military sale is worth as much as $138 million, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Although Ukraine has run out of many sources of US funds, Kyiv was given a grant of $300 million in foreign military financing as part of the annual defense spending bill recently signed into law. The grant money will be used to pay for the equipment, which includes engineering and integration for communications and refurbishment of HAWK fire units.

In addition, the sale includes missile recertification components for older units, tools, test and support equipment, spare parts and more.

The sale will require temporary-duty travel to Europe of an estimated five US government employees and 15 contractor representatives to support training and sustainment, the official said.

Presidential drawdown authority had been used previously to transfer HAWK equipment to Ukraine. That provision allows the United States to transfer defense articles and services from American stocks quickly without congressional approval in response to an emergency.

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