Pentagon confirms anti-radiation missiles sent to Ukraine

The Pentagon is seen on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 in Arlington, Va.
Greg Nash
The Pentagon is seen on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 in Arlington, Va.

The Department of Defense’s top policy official confirmed on Monday that the U.S. has sent anti-radiation missiles to Ukraine, the first time the department has acknowledged sending the missiles.

Colin Kahl, undersecretary of Defense for policy, said the missiles have been sent as part of “recent” presidential drawdown authority (PDA) packages, meaning that the Pentagon has been sending these weapons from its own stockpiles.

“In recent PDA packages, we’ve included a number of anti-radiation missiles that can be fired off of Ukrainian aircraft that can have effects on Russia radars and other things,” Kahl said. 

Kahl didn’t say how many anti-radiation missiles were sent to Ukraine or the specific type.

But a defense official told CNN that the U.S. has sent the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), manufactured by Raytheon. According to the outlet, reports have shown the remains of a HARM missile that hit a Russian target inside Ukraine.

The Pentagon declined to comment outside of Kahl’s remarks.  

The AGM-88 HARM is an air-to-surface tactical missile that has a range of at least 30 miles, and is designed to find and destroy radar-equipped air defense systems, according to the U.S. Air Force’s website.

The disclosure came as the Pentagon announced a $1 billion weapons package for Ukraine, which among other things includes ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery and ammunition.

Kahl made the comments as he was speaking about how the Pentagon has been working to boost the Ukrainian Air Force’s capabilities.

He acknowledged that the U.S. has sent spare parts and other things to help Ukraine make better use of its own MiG-29 fighter jets, but said that “it’s not inconceivable” that Kyiv could receive Western aircraft “down the road.”

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