The US has unveiled a massive new $3.75 billion military aid package for Ukraine, pledging to deliver various weapons to prop up Kiev in the ongoing conflict with Russia. Among other things, the package includes an unspecified number of RIM-7 Sea Sparrow short-range anti-aircraft missiles.
The missiles, developed in the early 1960s, are expected to be fitted onto the Soviet-era Buk launchers remaining in Ukraine’s inventory, Politico reported shortly ahead of the announcement.
“The package will for the first time include radar-guided Sea Sparrow anti-air missiles, which can be launched from the sea or on land to intercept aircraft or cruise missiles. In a bit of battlefield innovation, the Ukrainian military has managed to tweak its existing Soviet-era Buk launchers to fire the Sea Sparrow,” the outlet wrote, citing “two people familiar with the matter.”
Politico did not explain how Kiev came up with this “battlefield innovation,” but given that Ukraine has never been in possession of RIM-7 missiles, fitting US-made munitions onto Soviet-made launchers suggests heavy US involvement in such an upgrade.