“Right now, what (Ukrainians) need more than anything else is air defense capabilities,” Austin said.
He also noted that “we have been pressing hard to get them a NASAMS capability, and we expect that early next month we’ll be able to get them the capability.”
The article notes this is the first time that a senior U.S. official specified the exact date when Kyiv can expect to finally receive NASAMS. Earlier, the Pentagon indicated it was in the process of purchasing two of these medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems for Ukraine.
The Washington Post writes that Ukrainian officials still insist they need U.S.-made ATACMS missiles, which can launch missiles up to 300 kilometers away to hit targets in Crimea – including facilities used to launch Iranian kamikaze drones. The United States remains reluctant to provide Ukraine with ATACMS, due to concerns they could be used to strike Russian territory, leading to a further escalation of the war.
In total, Ukraine expects to receive eight NASAMS batteries from the United States: two batteries were part of an $820 million military aid package on July 1, with six more included in the Aug. 24 package, worth $3 billion.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine