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Biden Administration Unveils New Military Aid to Ukraine To Combat Russia’s Deadly Drones with Hellfire Missiles

As Russian forces in Ukraine’s south withdraw, the Biden administration has disclosed a number of new measures of military aid. However, none of the supplies came with the multifunctional Gray Eagle drone loaded with Hellfire missiles, which the Ukrainian military has long been after.

The US has reportedly been considering changes that may be made to the deadly drone, according to two individuals. modifications that would lessen the threat of losing any, given their delicate onboard electronics, and maybe increase Ukraine’s chances of obtaining them.

US Military Aid to Ukraine

There are specific and highly technical “tweaks and neutering that can be done” to the Gray Eagle drone, according to a representative of Congress, but he noted that the processes are challenging and time-consuming.

One US official admitted that the Army is leading the efforts to investigate whether enhancements to the drone—built by General Atomics and known in the Army as the MQ-1C—are possible.

Seth Jones, the director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies International Security Program, claims that when it comes to drones, this is about as good as it gets. He mentioned how sophisticated these drones are.

Unless changes are made, it seems doubtful that the Gray Eagle drone, which can carry four Hellfire missiles and fly at 25,000 feet for more than 30 hours, would appear on future lists of military goods provided to Ukraine.

According to a US official, “there’s still interest” in supplying this technology if the necessary improvements would be made.

The US official and a Ukrainian official indicated that talks for the Gray Eagle are still underway on and that Ukraine has not officially ruled it out or rejected it. The Pentagon reportedly turned down Ukraine’s request.

Kyiv has so far relied on a combination of Soviet-era equipment and weapons delivered by Western allies to coordinate shootdowns across the platform. Since Kyiv lacks a complete system of air defenses, this has left exposed civilian structures.

Ukraine requested the MQ-1C Gray Eagle system in the early stages of the invasion in order to use Hellfire missiles to shoot down Russian aircraft and cruise missiles.

Pentagon leaders originally rejected the plan, though, because of fear that the Russians may steal the Gray Eagle drone and use it to steal American technology.

A similar justification was apparently used by defense officials while briefing senators in private about the decision last week. They also emphasized that Russia may view drones as a provocation in the Russia-Ukraine confrontation.

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Iran’s Drone Supply for Russia

As Russian forces in Ukraine’s south withdraw, the Biden administration has disclosed a number of new measures of military aid.

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In other developments, the Iranian government finally confirmed months of denials that it had given Russia lethal drones, but they said the delivery took place before the Russia-Ukraine war broke out in late February.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian openly admitted the drone shipments over the weekend, but US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley questioned the timing claims.

Malley asserted on Twitter that Iran dispatched more drones than it had indicated it would before the fighting. Since the summer, they have transported hundreds of them, and troops are stationed in the Ukrainian territory that Russia has annexed to help use them against the population there.

For his part, Amirabdollahian cautioned that Iran “would not be indifferent to it” if it were proven that Russia had used Iranian drones in the conflict in Ukraine.

Drones from Iran have significantly damaged vital energy infrastructure and civilian areas in Ukraine. As winter approaches, Russia’s bombardment appears to be an attempt to make certain areas of the nation livable. In the Russia-Ukraine war, when Moscow was short on more advanced weaponry like guided missiles, drones also came to Moscow’s aid.

The US and EU have imposed sanctions on a number of people and organizations in Russia as a result of Iran supplying drones to that country, and Kyiv has lowered diplomatic ties with Tehran.

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