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UK commits $416 million to supply Ukraine with 10,000 drones

The UK boosts its military aid to Ukraine with an extra £125 million ($160 million), raising the total package to £325 million ($416 million) for over 10,000 “cutting-edge” drones.
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak.
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak, in the Ukrainian Parliament on 12 January 2024. Credit: Presidential Office
UK commits $416 million to supply Ukraine with 10,000 drones

The UK Defense Ministry announced a significant expansion of its support for Ukraine, committing an additional £125 million ($160 million) to its previously announced drone package, bringing the total investment to £325 million ($416 million). This funding will provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with more than 10,000 drones, including first-person view (FPV) drones, one-way attack drones, surveillance drones, and maritime drones, all developed by the UK’s leading defense industries.

“I am ramping up our commitment to arm Ukraine with cutting-edge new drones coming directly from the UK’s world-leading defense industries – straight from the factory floor to the frontline,” UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said during his visit to Kyiv on 7 March.

The new aid package aims to enhance Ukraine’s already effective use of drones on the battlefield, which has seen the destruction and damage of thousands of pieces of Russian equipment and vehicles. FPV drones, in particular, have been instrumental in bypassing Russian air defenses and striking critical targets.

The announcement follows a meeting of the US-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group, where the UK committed to co-leading an international drone coalition with Latvia to bolster Ukraine’s drone capabilities.

On 12 January 2024, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak, signed a Ukraine-UK long-term security agreement in Kyiv. Following the meeting with Ukraine’s President and MPs, Rishi Sunak has announced a new £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) military aid package for Ukraine, the UK’s largest single package since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion. The package includes additional air defense equipment, anti-tank weapons, long-range missiles, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and training for thousands more Ukrainian soldiers.

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