The United States on Wednesday announced approval of a $285 million sale of the NASAMS air defense system and related equipment to Ukraine, as Kiev seeks to boost defenses against Russian attacks.
“Ukraine urgently needs to enhance its capabilities to defend against Russian missile attacks and aircraft,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement. “Acquiring and effectively deploying this capability will enhance Ukraine’s ability to defend its people and protect critical national infrastructure.”
The agency also said the sale “will support US foreign policy national security goals by improving the security of a partner country that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.”
The sale will not require the assignment of any additional US government employees or contractors to Ukraine, the statement said.
The State Department approved the sale, and DSCA on Wednesday provided the necessary notification to Congress, which still needs to sign off on the transaction.
Countries including the United States that are supporting Ukraine in its fight against the invading Russian army have donated billions of dollars worth of military equipment to Kiev, but the transfer will be a sale.
Ukraine’s air defenses have played a key role in protecting the country from attacks and preventing Moscow’s military from gaining control of the skies.
When Russia invaded in February 2022, Ukraine’s air defenses consisted largely of Soviet-era aircraft and batteries.
It has since been significantly augmented by Kiev’s international supporters, who have donated a number of systems, including NASAMS.
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