Spain Offers Air Defense Systems to Ukraine As UK Predicts Russia Will “Run Out” Of Weapons – United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin revealed plans for Spain to deliver more “Hawk” air defense systems to Ukraine in a press briefing on Thursday.
Speaking in Brussels, where Austin attended the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, Austin echoed calls from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this week for European partners to step up support for Ukraine. Austin said that the White House not only encouraged NATO allies to provide Ukraine with financial support but also with the most lethal aid possible.
“Just today, one of our allies came back one day later and said that they were gonna push in additional Hawk systems which the Ukrainians had asked for,” Austin said. “So we thank Spain for its very, very rapid response.”
NATO allies have scrambled in recent days to discuss the best way to assist Ukraine following a series of indiscriminate bombings across major Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, early on Monday morning. The collective response appears to be a focus on air defense systems, with the United States and various European countries pledging more air defense missile systems over the last week.
Austin clarified that efforts to send more lethal weapons to Ukraine are part of a two-fold approach, including providing systems that are already in U.S. stockpiles as well as procuring systems from private industry that will take some time to manufacture.
What Is the “Hawk”?
The Raytheon MIM-23 Hawk is a medium-range surface-to-air missile system developed in the United States.
Initially developed in the 1950s, the system has seen many upgrades over its lifetime and remains a popular air defense system globally – although it has never been used by American soldiers in combat. The system has seen action in the Persian Gulf War and Iraq.
Initially developed to combat the threat of Soviet-built aircraft in the mid-20th century, the Hawk remains effective on the battlefield and can fire missiles up to a distance of 50km.
Russia Running Out Of Arms
The news comes as the United Kingdom announces more air defense systems will be sent to Ukraine, and the British Ministry of Defence predicts that Russia will run out of weapons and ammunition before Ukraine will.
On Thursday, British Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace announced that AMRAAM missiles would be delivered to Ukraine to help protect civilians from further Russian missile strikes.
“Russia’s latest indiscriminate strikes on civilian areas in Ukraine warrant further support to those seeking to defend their nation. So today I have authorized the supply of AMRAAM anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine,” Wallace said.
“These weapons will help Ukraine defend its skies from attacks and strengthen their overall missile defense alongside the U.S. NASAMS.”
Wallace also told Britain’s Sky News that Russia being isolated from the global supply chain means that the Kremlin will run out of weapons shortly. Specifically, Wallace blamed Russia’s inability to manufacture and repair existing advanced weaponry as a result of a lack of access to parts.
“They need a supply chain, and large parts of their supply chain were not in Russia, they came from all over the world including in Europe and including, indeed, even in Ukraine,” Wallace said.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.