It was not immediately clear whether President Biden or any of his top national security advisers approved the transfer of JDAMs to Ukraine. Those familiar with the subject, Speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal discussions, it was not mentioned whether Ukrainian forces would use the kits on aircraft or ground-based weapons, or what specific systems in Ukraine’s arsenal would be. are candidates for such an increase.
Pentagon eyes a major expansion of military training Ukraine
Ukraine’s Air Force relies mainly on aging Soviet-era MiG jets, and the Pentagon is looking for ways to upgrade them rather than providing newer Western aircraft that would require its pilots and maintenance units undertake new and complex training.
The Biden administration previously gave Ukraine other advanced equipment, including high-speed, anti-radiation missiles, or HARMs, to improve Ukraine’s ability to conduct airstrikes. But those weapons work differently than the GPS-guided JDAM, instead hunting for radiation emitted by Russian units and headquarters.
Washington’s delivery of JDAMs was another significant step in helping Ukraine repel the Russian invasion force, providing a new way to target Russian units and headquarters. Since June, Ukraine has relied heavily on the US High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, another precision system, for significant casualties among Russian troops and disruption of supply lines, said Ukrainian and US officials.
Pentagon preparing to send Patriot missile system to Ukraine
The Kremlin has reacted angrily to the outpouring of Western military aid, making thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine and warning of the potential for a wider war with NATO. For that reason, the Biden administration has tried to move cautiously in allowing new capabilities that Russia might view as escalating.
On Tuesday, senior US officials told The Washington Post that the Pentagon was also preparing to supply Ukraine with the Patriot missile system, the US military’s most sophisticated air defense weapon. Biden has not approved that move either but he may do so soon, officials said.
Ukraine’s leaders have pleaded for help to bolster their air defenses as Russia has relentlessly attacked the country’s electrical grid, disabling heat for much of the population as the cold winter approaches. Delivery of Patriot, which relies on radar and long-range missiles to intercept incoming threats, would fulfill one of Ukraine’s biggest and most frequent requests to Washington.
To date, the United States has given about $20 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24.
Jake Sullivan, the White House’s national security adviser, said on Monday that the administration is focused on “mitigating any Russian effort” to gain an advantage in the war, and predicted that the United States would soon announce new arms transfers.