Ukraine Wants THAAD Air Defenses, F-18 Jets and MQ-9B Drones

Ukrainian MoD officials presented a "list of armaments to meet the needs of defense forces of Ukraine" during a closed-door session of a conference in Washington on Dec.6
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  • 09:43 AM, December 7, 2023
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Ukraine Wants THAAD Air Defenses, F-18 Jets and MQ-9B Drones
F/A-18E Super Hornets

U.S.-made THAAD air defense systems and F-18 Hornet fighters have reportedly been added to Ukraine’s list of weapons needed for its defense against Russia.

According to confidential documents obtained by Reuters, the latest wish list includes assets such as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) air defense systems and F-18 "Hornet" fighter jets.

Officials from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense disclosed the comprehensive inventory during a closed-door session at a Washington conference on December 6, attended by government officials and defense industry executives. The list encompasses a wide array of weaponry, ranging from the already-owned Abrams tanks and 155-millimeter artillery to previously requested items like F-16s, drones, and long-range ATACMS missiles.

Surprisingly, Ukraine's requisition also features high-value acquisitions, including Boeing's C-17 Globemaster transport jets and Lockheed Martin's C-130 Super Hercules. The list extends to helicopter assets, with Boeing's Apache attack helicopters and Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky unit's Black Hawk helicopters making the cut.

However, Ukraine's ambitions transcend traditional acquisitions, with the documents revealing requests for advanced military aircraft such as F-18 "Hornet" fighter jets and three types of drones from General Atomics, including the MQ-9B Sky Guardian. Notably, Ukraine is seeking the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) air defense system, manufactured by Lockheed.

Acknowledging the need for Western military aid to sustain their defense efforts, Ukrainian authorities are navigating challenges in the U.S. Senate. A legislative proposal that could provide billions of dollars in security assistance to Ukraine and Israel faced opposition on Wednesday, as Republicans sought tougher immigration measures at the U.S.-Mexico border.

President Joe Biden has underlined a Ukrainian victory as a foreign-policy goal, aligning with his re-election campaign ambitions for November 2024. The weapons list submitted by Ukraine indicates a substantial financial commitment, potentially running into billions of dollars. However, the Ukrainian embassy in Washington has not yet responded to requests for comment.

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