UK details plans for drone capability coalition for Ukraine

Britain on Thursday detailed plans to jointly lead an international “drone capability coalition” with Latvia aimed at delivering thousands of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Ukraine.

London last month said it would allocate £200 million ($250 million) to provide “the single largest package of drones given to Ukraine by any nation”.

It announced it as part of a 10-year security cooperation agreement with Kyiv.

The UK says it will provide thousands of “first-person view” drones, which give operators the situational awareness to target positions, armoured vehicles, and ships.

That type of UAV has proven highly effective on the battlefield since Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbour two years ago, Britain’s defence ministry said.

“The UK continues to do all we can to give Ukraine what it needs,” Defence Secretary said.

“The UK continues to do all we can to give Ukraine what it needs,” Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement, ahead of meeting NATO counterparts in Brussels on Thursday.

Referring to the joint project with Latvia, he added: “Together, we will give Ukraine the capabilities it needs to defend itself and win this war.”

At Thursday’s NATO ministerial meeting, Britain, its 13 allies, and prospective member Sweden, will sign an agreement on two new procurement initiatives for munitions and missiles, London said.

Spearheaded by the UK, they aim to increase defence industrial capacity across the Euro-Atlantic area and replenish stockpiles significantly depleted by the war in Ukraine.

Other members involved in the procurement plans include France, Germany and Turkey, said defence ministry statement.

Britain is also working with alliance members Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States to deliver air-defence equipment to Ukraine, the ministry added.