U.S.-Led Coalition Announces New Initiatives to Bolster Ukraine's Long-Term Armor, Drone Capabilities

Service members stand on the ramp of a military cargo plane. The U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group is undertaking two new initiatives aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s armor and drone capabilities, a senior Pentagon official announced today. The formation of the two new capability coalitions builds upon ongoing efforts by the coalition of close to 50 partner nations to build a future Ukrainian force capable of deterring Russian aggression for the long term. In a briefing to reporters following the 18th meeting of the UDCG, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander announced that Germany and Latvia will lead the newly formed armor and drone capability coalitions collectively. “These important coalitions will build on the extensive work that we’ve already been doing in the contact group,” Wallander said. “They will sustain and deepen security assistance in the years ahead, working closely with Ukraine to create a formidable combat force that can defend against and deter future threats from Moscow.” The partner nations unveiled the model of forming several distinct coalitions focused on specific capabilities following the 16th meeting of the UDCG meeting held in October. The armor and drone capability coalitions announced today, add to the previously announced capability coalitions focused on Ukraine’s air force, artillery, maritime security, ground-based air defense, demining and information technology capabilities. The U.S. and France are partnered in leading the effort to bolster Ukraine’s artillery capability. The U.S. is also co-leading the air force capability coalition alongside Denmark and France and is an active participant in the air defense capability coalition led by Germany and France, among others. Spotlight: Support for Ukraine Wallander underscored the continued commitment among the group of allies to help Ukraine push back against Russian aggression. “Ukrainians are not asking us to fight for them,” she said. “They […]

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