Among the weapons included in the latest $3.8 billion military aid package, the United States is providing Ukraine with radar-guided Sea Sparrow anti-air missiles for the first time, Politico reported.
Sea Sparrows can be launched from the sea or ground to intercept aircraft or cruise missiles. The U.S. and most allies use the ship-mounted version. However, Ukraine is expected to use the ground-launched version, currently only operated this way by Taiwan, according to Politico.
Two sources of the publication familiar with the matter said that the Ukrainian military had found a way to modify its Soviet-era BUK launchers to fire the Sea Sparrow.
Sea Sparrows are not the only new weapon the U.S. is to send to Ukraine as part of the recent massive military aid package. It could also include Bradley fighting vehicles for the first time, American officials confirmed on Jan. 5. Bradley is an armored carrier designed to transport troops to combat, which can also fire an anti-tank missile.
This military aid package is seen as unprecedented by its content: It provides Ukraine with new lethal and powerful weapons to defend itself from Russia’s aggression.
The European Union countries also vowed to scale up their contributions to Ukraine in a bid to help Ukraine achieve a breakthrough in the war.
On Jan. 4, France announced it would send Ukraine French-made AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles, sometimes referred to as light tanks.
Germany reportedly intends to provide Ukraine with Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Yet the Western countries have been reluctant to supply NATO tanks to Ukraine.