UK pledges to send Ukraine anti-aircraft rockets for first time

Latest package of equipment also includes air defence missiles, aerial drones and field guns

British military aid is unloaded from a Royal Air Force aircraft at the Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv in February. Reuters
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The UK has agreed to send anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine to help defend its skies against Russian attacks, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said.

Britain is donating the Amraam rockets for the first time and they will give Ukraine the ability to shoot down cruise missiles.

After the launch of deadly missile and drone attacks on the country’s cities and power plants this week by Moscow, it is hoped the new air-defence missiles will help to protect Ukrainian infrastructure.

Vladimir Putin and his forces were accused of war crimes by the UK and G7 allies, who vowed to “continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support and … stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes”.

The shift in the Kremlin’s strategy to attacks on civilian areas and infrastructure came in retaliation for an explosion that damaged the strategically and symbolically important Kerch bridge, linking Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula.

The UK and other western governments are shipping new weapons systems to Ukraine or gearing up to provide more help.

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The Amraam rockets will be delivered in the coming weeks to be used with the Nasams air-defence systems pledged by the US, the UK Ministry of Defence said.

The latest package of UK equipment also includes hundreds of other air defence missiles and aerial drones, and another 18 field guns.

“Russia’s latest indiscriminate strikes on civilian areas in Ukraine warrant further support to those seeking to defend their nation," Mr Wallace said.

"So today I have authorised the supply of Amraam anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine,

“These weapons will help Ukraine defend its skies from attacks and strengthen their overall missile defence alongside the US Nasams.”

US and UN leaders condemn 'unacceptable' Russian strikes on Ukraine - video

Nato defence ministers discussed more support for Ukraine in Brussels on Wednesday, with further talks due on Thursday.

Britain will also give £10 million ($11m) to the military alliance’s funding package to help provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, including winter clothes, shelters, generators, fuel trucks and ambulances.

The UK has previously supplied Kyiv with various weapons, including the Nlaw anti-tank missile launcher, which was considered instrumental in the initial defence against Russia’s invasion.

Putin vows continued 'tough' attacks against Ukraine - video

Updated: October 13, 2022, 7:43 AM
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