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A group of 16 U.S. senators from the Democratic and Republican parties have written a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, calling on the administration to provide Ukraine with MQ-1C Gray Eagle combat drones, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“The long-term upside of providing Ukraine with the MQ-1C is significant and has the potential to drive the strategic course of the war in Ukraine’s favor,” the letter reads.
The legislators added that Ukraine could use U.S. drones to "find and attack Russian warships in the Black Sea, breaking its coercive blockade and alleviating dual pressures on the Ukrainian economy and global food prices.”
The Pentagon rejected Ukraine’s request for drones earlier in the month amid concerns that their technology could be stolen on the battlefield, according to the WSJ.
The U.S. Defense Department declined to comment on the letter but said that reluctance to hand out the drones was caused by technical issues rather than fears of escalation, the WSJ reported.