US Sending Ukraine 200 Generators, Anti-Drone Machine Guns
After Russian attacks cause rolling blackouts, the West rushes backup energy, ammunition, and counter-drone tech.
With Ukraine’s electrical grid hobbled by Russian drone strikes, the United States is rushing 200 generators to the beleaguered country—along with thermal-sighted machine guns to shoot down the next wave of drones, Pentagon officials announced Wednesday.
The new military aid package, valued at more than $400 million, also includes:
*More rockets for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS, and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS.
*200 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds and spare parts for howitzers.
*10,000 120mm mortar rounds.
*High-speed anti-radiation missiles, or HARMs.
*150 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and more than 100 light tactical vehicles.
Many parts of Ukraine are short of power and water, AP reported Wednesday.
More electrical gear will come from European Union countries, which on Wednesday announced a new “Generators of Hope” effort. “Ten million Ukrainians are currently without electricity as a result of Russia's attacks on the critical, civilian-targeted infrastructure such as electricity transmission networks,” said Dario Nardella, the mayor of Florence and president of the EU Eurocities initiative.
The various air-defense weapons will be put to use against ongoing Russian strikes. On Wednesday, Ukrainian armed forces reported, Russian warships fired 70 Kh-101/Kh-555 and Kalibr cruise missiles against Ukraine infrastructure targets. The defenders knocked down “more than 51,” they said.
But the main weapon employed against civilian electrical grids appears to be the Iranian-made Shahed-136. In October, a spokesperson for Ukraine's Air Force Command told CNN that Ukraine had shot down more than 300 Shaheds. But new reports suggest that Iran is preparing to send more and to help Russia build their own.
A Tuesday report from Conflict Armament Research shows that the drones “include many recently manufactured components produced by companies mostly based in the United States.”
Ukraine’s air defenses vary from the very large S-300 to the small. Ukraine continues to ask for more anti-drone defense systems; the hope is that the thermal-sighted machine guns will allow Ukraine to take down more Iranian drones at the cost of fewer missiles.