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US, Partner Nations Unveil New Programs to Boost Ukraine’s Armor, Drone Capabilities

united states of america department of defense

The U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group has launched new projects to further build up Ukraine’s armor and drone capabilities.

At a news briefing on Tuesday, Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary for international security affairs at the Pentagon, said the capability coalition will advance efforts by the UDCG to build a Ukrainian force that can repel Russia’s attacks for the long term.

According to Wallander, Germany will lead the armor capability coalition while Latvia will take charge of the drone coalition.

The Department of Defense announced the formation of the armor and drone capability coalitions following the 18th meeting of the group.

The UDCG had earlier introduced initiatives to bolster Ukraine’s air force, artillery, maritime security, ground-based air defense, demining and information technology capabilities.

Under these collaborative efforts, the U.S. government will partner with France to boost Ukraine’s artillery capability, DOD said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and France will work with Denmark to ensure that the Ukrainian Air Force will be able to answer future challenges from its Russian counterpart.

Additionally, Washington plans to play an important role in a France and Germany-led coalition that seeks to fortify Kyiv’s air defense capability.

Wallander said the coalitions will sustain the work started by the U.S. and around 50 countries to push for increased security assistance for Ukraine in the coming years.

She noted that the partner nations under the UDCG already committed more than $80 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.

DOD Secretary Lloyd Austin, who hosted the group’s virtual conference, stressed that the international community needs to continue supporting the war-torn country, adding that a “sovereign and secure Ukraine is critical to global security.”

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