U.S. Sending Ukraine Sea Sparrow Missiles in Latest Aid Package

January 6, 2023 5:03 PM - Updated: January 8, 2023 9:15 PM
A RIM-7P NATO Sea Sparrow Missile launches the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) during an exercise in 2007. US Navy Photo

The United States will send RIM-7 Sea Sparrows anti-air missiles to Ukraine as part of Washington’s latest military aid package.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Laura Cooper confirmed during a Friday press briefing that Ukraine will receive the Sea Sparrows. The missiles will be used in conjunction with Ukraine’s Soviet-era BUK anti-air missile system, Politico reported.

“With air defense, you can never consider one system in isolation,” Cooper said. “It’s all about the layered air defense with multiple systems with different ranges applied over broad geographic territory protecting key nodes.”

Cooper said the BUK system is suitable for short ranges, adding that the Ukrainian defenses are using multiple systems to counter attacks from cruise missiles and drones.

The missiles are part of a $2.85 billion presidential drawdown announced Friday. The State Department also announced $225 million in Foreign Military Financing, according to the Defense Department announcement.

This is the 29th drawn down since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. As part of the aid package, the U.S. also authorized 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, although a timeline for delivery is not clear.

The package also included 100 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, 55 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, 138 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, 18 self-propelled Howitzers and 30 towed Howitzers. Additional ammunition is also part of the package, including 1,200 Remote Anti-Armor Mine Systems and more ammo for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

The aid package did not say how many of the Sea Sparrow missiles would go to Ukraine.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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