The United States will send RIM-7 Sea Sparrows to Ukraine as part of Washington’s latest aid package.
The Sea Sparrows, which can be launched from land or sea, will be used with Ukraine’s modified Soviet-era BUK system, Politico reported. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Laura Cooper confirmed during a Friday press briefing that Ukraine would receive the Sea Sparrows.
“With air defense, you can never consider one system in isolation,” Cooper said. “It’s all about the layered air defense with multiple systems with different ranges applied over broad geographic territory protecting key nodes.”
The BUK system is good for short ranges, she said, adding that the Ukrainian defenses are using multiple systems to counter attacks from cruise missiles and drones.
The missiles are part of a $2.85 billion presidential drawdown announced Friday. The State Department also announced $225 million in Foreign Military Financing, according to the Defense Department announcement.
This is the 29th drawndown since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. As part of the aid package, the U.S. authorized 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, although a timeline for delivery is not clear.
The package also included 100 M113 Amored Personnel Carriers, 55 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, 138 High Mobility Mulitpurposed Wheeled Vehicles, 18 self-propelled Howitzers and 30 towed Howitzers. Additional ammunition is also part of package, including 1,200 Remote Anti-Armor Mine Systems and more ammo for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
The aid package did not say how many RIM-7 Sea Sparrows would go to Ukraine.