The Pentagon announced Monday that the US had sent anti-radar missiles for Ukrainian aircraft to target Russian radar systems, marking the first time the Defense Department has acknowledged sending the previously undisclosed missile to Ukraine, APA reports citing TASS.
Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said at a press briefing that the US had sent "a number" of the missiles without specifying how many the US had provided or when they were sent. Kahl did not explicitly say what type of anti-radiation missile was sent.
A defense official told CNN the type of missile sent was the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).
Produced by Raytheon, HARMs have a range of over 30 miles, according to the US Air Force, making them one of the longer-range weapons the US has provided to Ukraine. The missiles can be used to target Russian anti-aircraft radar systems, such as the S-400, which have made it very difficult for the Ukrainian Air Force to operate over large swaths of Ukrainian airspace. The missiles can also target Russian counter-battery radars, which Russia uses to target Ukrainian artillery.
Kahl said the missiles had been sent over "in recent [Presidential Drawdown Authority] packages," but the five most recent packages, dating to July 1, make no mention of HARMs.
"In the near term, we've been doing lots of things to make Ukraine's existing air force stay in the air and be more capable," Kahl said.
He pointed to the spare parts for Mig-29s that the US helped send into Ukraine to keep the Soviet-era fighter jets flying. Kahl then mentioned the missiles, saying they "can have effects on Russian radars and other things."
The Ukrainians have not publicly acknowledged receiving or using HARMs.