Last week, the UK Defence Secretary unveiled a new military support package for Ukraine exceeding £100 million. This aid is intended to assist the Ukrainian armed forces in tasks such as minefield clearance, vehicle maintenance, and reinforcement of defensive fortifications to safeguard critical national infrastructure.
The support package, funded by the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU), was jointly announced at the Ukraine Defence Contact Group meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels by the Defence Secretary and his counterparts from IFU partner nations.
This development coincides with the finalization of the contract for the previously announced IFU air defense capability package, which will provide Ukraine with over £70 million in capabilities. This includes the MSI-DS Terrahawk Paladin, a platform capable of tracking and neutralizing drones to protect critical national infrastructure.
The IFU, launched by the UK and Denmark in 2022, has seen the UK closely collaborating with Ukraine to procure capabilities that best serve the requirements of its armed forces. Since its inception, five other nations have contributed to the IFU, showcasing the solidarity and commitment of allies and partners in supporting Ukraine.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps commented on the aid package, “During my recent visit to Kyiv, I assured President Zelenskyy that the UK’s support for Ukraine and their most urgent needs is unwavering. Today I am proud to announce that the UK, alongside our allies, is delivering on that promise with new contracts to provide Ukraine with critical air defence systems to protect civilians from Putin’s barbaric bombing campaign, and more than £100 million of new equipment pledged to give Ukrainian soldiers what they need to breach Russia’s deadly minefields.”
“This new package of support is the latest in an unprecedented and sustained effort by 50 nations to give Ukraine the tools it needs to counter Russia’s aggression and recover what it has lost,” said Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin. He continued, “This winter, Russia will seek to undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and divide the international community, but in both cases Putin underestimates the strength and resilience of his opposition. If we stick together, and stay the course, then Russia will continue to lose, Ukraine will prevail and the rules that matter to global security will endure.”
Ukraine currently faces the most extensive landmine problem globally, posing a significant impediment to its counter-offensive efforts this year. Effective mine clearing capabilities are imperative for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to advance.
Equipment from both the air defense package and the mobility support package will be delivered in the forthcoming months, augmenting the existing inventory of IFU-funded equipment already in Ukraine, including approximately 100 unmanned aerial systems.
The International Fund for Ukraine (IFU) leverages financial contributions from international partners to procure crucial military assistance for Ukraine. This approach ensures a continuous stream of military support, encompassing both lethal and non-lethal aid, to Ukraine throughout 2023 and beyond.
To date, the IFU has garnered £785 million in funding through contributions from the UK, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and Lithuania.
The IFU has recently expanded its Executive Panel to include Lithuania, thus comprising the UK and six other nations responsible for overseeing and assuring the Fund, including the endorsement of various capability packages. (Press Release)
Image Credit: envatoelements by traimakivan)