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Reuters: Ukraine requests U.S. air defense systems, fighter jets

by Rachel Amran December 7, 2023 7:42 AM 2 min read
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Ukraine's most recent weapons request includes U.S. air defense systems, F-18 "Hornet" fighter jets, drones, and Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, according to documents seen by Reuters journalists on Dec. 6.

Ukrainian Defense Ministry reportedly presented a "list of armaments to meet the needs of defense forces of Ukraine" during a closed-door session of the U.S.-Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

The U.S.-Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference convened more than 350 U.S., Ukrainian, and European industry and government representatives in Washington, DC to enhance collaboration and production between U.S. and Ukrainian defense companies and increase overall weapons production.

Ukraine also listed some weapons it already holds in stock such as Abrams tanks and 155-millimeter artillery, as well as some weaponry such as F-16s, drones, and long-range ATACMS missiles that it requested in the past.

According to Reuters, the list also included some surprise items such as the C-17 Globemaster transport jets and Apache attack helicopters made by Boeing and the C-130 Super Hercules and Black Hawk helicopter made by Lockheed Martin.

The list continues with requests for F-18 "Hornet" fighter jets, three types of drones made by General Atomics including the MQ-9B Sky Guardian and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) air defense system made by Lockheed.

The report comes as Senate Republicans block a supplemental funding bill that included aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan in a procedural vote held on Dec. 6. The funding package includes $61 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Funding for Ukraine has become a source of controversy among U.S. lawmakers in recent months, bringing the government to the brink of a shutdown.

Ahead of the vote, President Joe Biden emphasized the urgency of passing the funding bill, as aid is set to potentially run out in the coming weeks. He strongly encouraged Congress to pass the bill before the holiday recess.

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