Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a major new fund on 15 June 2023 that will deliver hundreds of air defence missiles to Ukraine.
The announcement was made by the countries’ defence ministers during a meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group (UDCG), which brings together some 50 nations providing a variety of military support to Ukraine in resisting its invasion by Russian forces.
Hundreds of short- and medium-range air defence systems will be procured via the fund, with a press release by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) stating the delivery of the equipment had already begun and is expected to be completed within weeks.
The package consists largely of Soviet-era missile types, given that these can be most easily integrated into the Ukrainian inventory. The systems will support the Ukrainian armed forces’ “most pressing needs for systems to support offensive operations and protect critical national infrastructure”, the MoD stated.
With the much-heralded Ukrainian counter-offensive to retake its territory having begun in mid-June, Ukraine is now faced with the dual need to provide air defences for its advancing forces while still protecting infrastructure away from the front line.
On 13 June, at a meeting in Amsterdam of defence ministers from the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force countries (which also includes Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway), the UK announced it would provide an air defence package for Ukraine worth GBP 92 M (EUR 108 M) through the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU), in which the UK is investing a further GBP 250 M.
The IFU uses financial contributions from international partners to procure priority military assistance for Ukraine to ensure the continued supply of military support – lethal and non-lethal – to the country through 2023 and beyond.
More than GBP 520 M has been raised through the IFU following contributions from the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Lithuania, with the UK’s latest GBP 250 M contribution bringing the total pledged to GBP 770 M.
The funding for air defence is the first of five expected support packages as part of the second round of IFU procurement.
The first round of procurement resulted in hundreds of proposals from suppliers, 10 of which were selected. These included a consignment of reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles, which will arrive in Ukraine this summer.
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