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£90m Boost To Ukraine’s Air Defence Capability

The CORTEX Typhon counter-aerial drone system can be mounted on vehicles [UK MoD press release image]

£90m boost to Ukraine’s air defence capability as new contracts signed ~ funded by the UK-administered International Fund for Ukraine.

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Press Release, Whitehall, 18 August 2023: Three contracts to deliver air defence equipment to Ukraine worth more than £90m have been signed by the Ministry of Defence on behalf of the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU).

These include a £56 million counter-uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) contract with Norwegian defence company Kongsberg and two further contracts to provide further air defence capabilities. The contract with Kongsberg will purchase vehicle-mounted counter-drone systems to detect, track, destroy or disrupt UAS.

The CORTEX Typhon system is designed to be operated by as few as two users, and can be rapidly deployed and repositioned to maximise its operational effectiveness. The system can operate individually, or as part of an integrated network, and will use a complex suite of sensors, cameras, radars, and electronic surveillance equipment to allow it to physically destroy or disrupt drones.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “These air defence systems have the capability and flexibility to be rapidly deployed to either protect Ukraine’s civilian population and infrastructure, or be put to use on the frontline.

“The International Fund for Ukraine highlights the unity and resolve of our Allies to work together to provide Ukraine with cutting-edge equipment to meet its capability requirements.”

Awarded by the MoD’s procurement arm, Defence Equipment & Support, these contracts are part of procurement packages announced by IFU defence ministers earlier this year to supply air defence capabilities, drones, radars, and electronic warfare systems to Ukraine. The contracts come as a new delivery of aerial reconnaissance drones arrives in Ukraine, designed to carry out both land and sea-based reconnaissance missions.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine have already begun training on the systems, which will form a package of more than 100 drones. The uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) delivery comprises multiple types of drone for different roles – including target acquisition, electronic warfare, guiding artillery, and night operations.

The IFU uses financial contributions from international partners to procure priority military assistance for Ukraine. This will ensure the continued supply of military support – lethal and non-lethal – to Ukraine through 2023 and beyond. More than £770m has been raised through the IFU following contributions from the UK, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Lithuania.

The UK remains fully committed to supporting Ukraine, with £2.3bn already earmarked for further military support through 2023, with additional munitions and equipment to be delivered in the coming months. Further UK government assistance continues in the form of humanitarian support and economic aid.

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