Ukraine’s latest weapons request includes THAAD air defenses and F-18s

By Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ukraine’s latest list of U.S. weapons it says it needs to fight the Russian military includes sophisticated air defense systems, F-18 “Hornet” fighter jets, drones, Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, according to documents seen by Reuters.

Officials from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense presented a “list of armaments to meet the needs of defense forces of Ukraine” during a closed-door session of a conference in Washington on Wednesday attended by government officials and defense industry executives.

The comprehensive list included weapons Ukraine already has in stock like Abrams tanks and 155 millimeter artillery, as well some weaponry such as F-16s, drones and long-range ATACMS missiles that it has asked for in the past.

But the list has a few surprises including big-ticket items like C-17 Globemaster transport jets made by Boeing and the C-130 Super Hercules made by Lockheed Martin. Boeing’s Apache attack helicopters made the list, as did the Black Hawk helicopter made by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky unit.

But the Ukrainians did not stop there. The documents show Ukraine is also seeking F-18 “Hornet” fighter jets, three types of drones made by General Atomics including the MQ-9B Sky Guardian and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) air defense system made by Lockheed.

Ukrainians know they must secure Western military aid to carry on the fight.

Legislation that would provide billions of dollars in new security assistance for Ukraine and Israel was blocked in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday as Republicans pressed their demands for tougher measures to control immigration at the U.S. border with Mexico.

U.S. President Joe Biden has made a Ukrainian victory a foreign-policy goal as he campaigns for re-election in November 2024.

Ukraine’s list reflects what would easily be billions of dollars’ worth of purchases or donations of weapons.

The Ukrainian embassy in Washington did not immediately return a request for comment.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)