At the current stage of Russiaʼs war against Ukraine, the U.S. is not ready to hand over long-range MQ-1C Gray Eagle strike drones to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which can be armed with Hellfire air-to-ground guided missiles. The Pentagon rejected Ukraineʼs request.
This was reported by The Wall Street Journal with reference to the U.S. officials and officials familiar with the decision.
The newspaper writes that Ukraine has been asking for these drones for several months, but the Pentagon fears that providing the Gray Eagle could lead to an escalation of the conflict and signal to Russia that the U.S. is providing weapons that can attack targets inside the Russian Federation.
The United States also fears that the probable loss of the Gray Eagle on the battlefield will allow the Russians and the enemies of the United States to learn and obtain advanced technology.
A representative of the General Atomics (manufacturer of the Gray Eagle) confirmed that the company had been informed of the Pentagonʼs decision.
- In June of this year, Reuters wrote that the U.S. plans to sell MQ-1C Gray Eagle attack drones to Ukraine, but only after the approval of Congress.
- In September, it was reported that Ukraine was conducting private negotiations with the United States on the supply of F-16 fighter jets.
- In October, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine expressed confidence in the future receipt of Abrams and Leopard tanks, as well as F-15, F-16 or Gripen fighters from the Allies. Later, the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine officially announced that it had selected a group of pilots who can begin training on F-15 and F-16 fighters.