In a strategic move aimed at bolstering its air defense capabilities ahead of the impending heating season, Ukraine has entered into undisclosed lease agreements with international partners for air defense systems.
The decision to secure these vital assets was disclosed by Yuriy Ignat, the spokesperson for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during a recent telethon appearance.
"We already have such a practice. Some countries put it into use. It is clear that each country cares, first of all, about its own priorities and its own protection. No one will give us their air defense just like that. Why is it taking so long to supply air defense, why is it dosed? Because there is not enough air defense in the world to take and give to us at once," said Ignat, underscoring the complex nature of acquiring air defense assets.
Despite the significance of the agreements, the countries that have leased their air defense complexes to Ukraine have remained confidential. Ignat justified this secrecy by stating, "Let's not announce with which countries. This information is sensitive. Especially our partners would not want us to voice it."
Furthermore, the specifics of the leased air defense equipment, including the nomenclature, leasing scheme, and terms, have not been disclosed. These air defense systems are expected to encompass a variety of elements, including launchers, radar stations, transport and charging machines, and other crucial components.
The move follows a global trend in arms leasing agreements, with various countries entering into similar arrangements to enhance their defense capabilities. For instance, Germany previously leased Heron-TP drones from Israel, while the Czech Air Force incorporated 14 Gripen aircraft through a lease agreement with Sweden. These aircraft are slated to remain in the Czech Air Force until 2027. Meanwhile, Italy is currently exploring the possibility of leasing 125 Leopard tanks, and the United States recently secured a lease agreement for 500,000 rounds of ammunition from South Korea.