The United States approved a $285 million sale of a NASAMS air defense system and accompanying equipment to Ukraine on Wednesday, as Kyiv looks to strengthen its defenses against Russian strikes.
“Ukraine has an urgent need to increase its capabilities to defend against Russian missile strikes 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 stated that the sale will help the US achieve its foreign policy and national security goals by “improving the security of a partner country that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.”
The transaction would not necessitate the assignment of any new US government officials or contractors to Ukraine, according to the statement.
The sale was approved by the State Department, and the DSCA notified Congress on Wednesday, which still needs to approve the transaction.
Countries helping Ukraine in its fight against invading Russian soldiers have provided tens of billions of dollars in military equipment to Kyiv, but this transfer would be a sale.
Ukraine’s air defenses have played a key role in protecting the country from strikes and preventing Moscow’s forces from gaining control of the skies.
When Russia invaded in February 2022, Ukraine’s air defenses largely consisted of Soviet-era planes and batteries.
They have since been significantly augmented by Kyiv’s international supporters, who have donated a series of systems including NASAMS.