In addition to thousands of NLAW anti-tank missiles Britain is planning to send Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles and an additional “small consignment” of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine as Russian forces close in on Kyiv.
Britain has already given Ukraine 3,615 of the portable missile systems – nearly double the 2,000 figure previously mentioned.
According to the Defence Secretary’s statement to the House of Commons on Ukraine today:
“For our part, the United Kingdom continues to play a leading role in supporting Ukraine. On 17 January, I announced to the House the Government’s intention to supply military aid to the Ukrainian armed forces. The aid took the form of body armour, helmets, boots, ear defenders, ration packs, rangefinders and communication equipment, and for the first time it also included weapons systems. The initial supply was to be 2,000 new light anti-tank weapons (NLAWs), small arms and ammunition.
In response to further acts of aggression by Russia, we have now increased that supply. I can update the House that, as of today, we have delivered 3,615 NLAWs and continue to deliver more. We will shortly be starting the delivery of a small consignment of anti-tank Javelin missiles as well. I want to assure the House that everything we do is bound by the decision to supply defensive systems and is calibrated not to escalate to a strategic level.
Britain was the first European country to supply lethal aid. I was pleased that not long after a military aid donor conference I held on 25 February, many more countries decided to do the same. From right across Europe, the donations came. In particular, I want to highlight the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Romania, the Baltic states, Belgium and Slovenia for their leadership, and we should not ignore the significance of the German Government joining us, in a change of stance, and donating such aid.
Donations are not enough; the delivery of aid to the front line is just as important. Here, again, Britain is leading, because alongside Canada, the United States and Sweden, we have invested in building Ukrainian military capacity since 2015, and we find ourselves able to co-ordinate the delivery alongside our partners.
As the conflict intensifies, the Russians are changing their tactics, so the Ukrainians need to, too. We can all see the horrific devastation inflicted on civilian areas by Russian artillery and airstrikes, which have been indiscriminate and murderous. It is therefore vital that Ukraine maintains its ability to fly and to suppress Russian air attack.
To date, the international community has donated more than 900 man-portable air defence missiles and thousands of anti-tank guided weapons of varying types, as well as various small arms. However, the capability needs strengthening, so in response to Ukrainian requests the Government have taken the decision to explore the donation of Starstreak high-velocity, man-portable anti-air missiles. We believe that this system will remain within the definition of defensive weapons, but will allow the Ukrainian forces to better defend their skies. We shall also be increasing supplies of rations, medical equipment, and other non-lethal military aid.”
Where do things stand today?
The illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is continuing.
The map below is the latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 09 March 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/zcQSvPZZtb
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/qO5xkAcmKX
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 9, 2022
The British Ministry of Defence provided the following intelligence update earlier today.
- Fighting north-west of Kyiv remains ongoing with Russian forces failing to make any significant breakthroughs.
- The cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol remain encircled by Russian forces and continue to suffer heavy Russian shelling.
- Ukrainian air defences appear to have enjoyed considerable success against Russia’s modern combat aircraft, probably preventing them from achieving any degree of control of the air.