Congress asks the Department of Defense to decide whether to send Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine

Ukraine could receive MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones from the USA
Ukraine could receive MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones from the USA

 

A bipartisan congressional group has called on the Pentagon to speed up monthly checks to determine whether the US has sent MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine.

On Thursday, 17 Democrats and Republicans sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urging him to conduct a permanent risk assessment to determine whether technology transfers pose a risk if fall into Russian hands or not.

“Despite the urgent requests of Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and US Ambassador Oksana Markarova, the delivery of the Gray Eagle system to Ukraine is still delayed,” the lawmaker wrote. Cost of Living in Ukraine”.

Pentagon officials have been considering a request to deliver Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine since at least mid-April, but have raised concerns about their technical safety and the safety of airspace. Ukraine. Officials said they are also looking at the potential impact on US military readiness if drones are removed from their supply chains.

Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told reporters on Thursday that the United States has sent other intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems to Ukraine, including Puma and ScanEagle drones and Switchblade round bombs.

“We continue to have in-depth discussions with Ukraine and the international community about what we and the international community can do to support Ukraine,” Ryder said.

The letter prompted the Pentagon to assemble the Gray Eagles and MQ-9A built by General Atomics in San Diego, California. The US sells Reapers to Britain, France and other countries, but does not export the Gray Eagle, which is armed with up to four Hellfire missiles.

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Lawmakers led by Ohio Representative Marcy Kaptur, R-Pa Brian Fitzpatrick, Mike Quigley of Illinois and Andy Harris of Illinois called for a “timely” completion of the review. ”

“If a decision is made to relocate the Greyhawks, it must be made quickly,” he wrote. “In addition, if the decision to freeze the technology is made, this should be communicated quickly and clearly so that our Ukrainian partners have the opportunity to develop an alternative plan.”

The letter was also signed by Adam Schiff, chairman of the California House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.

On Thursday, the United States’ representative K. Mark Brinkley criticized the US government’s response after months of negotiations with Washington and Kyiv.

According to Brinkley, which provides free training to US taxpayers to Ukrainian operators, has “responded to repeated concerns about technology transfer and presented ways to improve improve survivability on the battlefield,” according to Brinkley.

“If you think HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System] changed that, put some bald eagles in the air and see what happens,” Brinkley said.

“No one wants Ukraine’s great achievements to be destroyed by inaction,” he said.