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White House officials meet on accessing advanced US battlefield tech to boost Ukraine defense

White House officials met for five hours with American technology and defense industry executives about accessing drones, demining equipment and other technologies to bolster Ukraine’s defense against Russian invasion.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during his meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on 4 November 2022. Photo: president.gov.ua

On 8 January, White House officials met with leaders from the US technology and defense industry sectors, focusing on reinforcing the Biden administration’s commitment to supporting Ukraine.

The five-hour meeting centered on providing Ukraine with access to advanced US equipment, such as unmanned aerial systems, demining gear, and other battlefield technologies, to bolster Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion, according to senior administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to brief reporters on the discussions, Reuters and Bloomberg reported.

US National Security Council’s key members met with about a dozen industry executives from Fortem Aerospace, drone maker Skydio, defense tech companies like Palantir Technologies Inc and Anduril Industries Inc, and venture capital firms.

“The conversation focused on a number of systems, including, unmanned aerial systems, how to counter incoming unmanned aerial systems, and then also addressing the demining challenge,” an official told reporters during a phone call after the meeting.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan convened this meeting, and it occurred amidst US  President Joe Biden’s proposed supplemental aid package of over $100 billion, which includes support for Ukraine but is currently pending in Congress.

As per Bloomberg, officials stated that discussions with defense companies are meant to complement, not replace, the vital supplemental funding needed from Congress, focusing on understanding the new capabilities these companies are developing.

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